Listening to sports talk radio, I heard it over and over again from callers. This anthem thing is disrespectful, and I’m done with the NFL. I haven’t watched a game all season.
I get it you’re offended by players kneeling. You’re all about the veterans, and this is spitting in their face – it’s not, by the way – even though you probably wouldn’t give up a day off to volunteer at the VA and you wouldn’t sign off on a homeless shelter for veterans going up in your neighborhood.
I get it you’re all about the flag, and this is disrespecting America – it’s not by the way – even though you don’t really care about what the flag is supposed to represent embedded right there in our Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
I get it you’re all about the anthem. We should all stand and be proud of it no matter what type of social and racial injustice may exist in today’s world – by the way; we shouldn’t – even though you are probably more apt to make that beer run during the national anthem than during kickoff.
A protest is supposed to make you feel uncomfortable. Name a time when an oppressed group asked for something and just got it. Those in power will always feel like equality takes away from them. They won’t willingly tune into something that reminds them of their privilege. This country was born out of dissent. As Hubert Humphrey once said, “Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.” Let’s be honest with each other the vast majority of those who oppose the protests are people whose family and friends will never be impacted by the social and racial injustices that the anthem protest was meant to shine a light on. For many, the players are only vital to them as long as they are running or catching the ball for their entertainment; otherwise, they should just shut up and be thankful for the paycheck bestowed upon them. As if being paid, and in the process making billions of dollars for those that employ them, should mandate their silence. It shouldn’t; in fact, risking millions of dollars to bring light to injustice is heroic. Ask yourself honestly how many of those who are angry at the anthem protest would risk their livelihood to right injustice? I would venture to guess not many. Again one of our founding fathers understood this concept as Samuel Adams said, “If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace.”
The bottom line is that NFL players have a unique platform to bring attention to the inequalities that still exist in this country. Nothing is more patriotic than asking that this country live up to the principles on which it was founded. If you can’t get behind that, maybe you should question exactly what type of patriot you are.