For full disclosure, I’ve never been a big fan of professional football. Growing up watching college football, I’ve observed a stark difference between the two. College players tend to play for the love of the game. They spend around four years on campus, soaking in a college education, building a camaraderie with other students and players, and developing a genuine love for the school they represent on the football field. Sure, you have a few whose eyes are on the prize of a big NFL paycheck one day. But it’s very difficult to attend a school, converse with students and staff, enjoy the activities that college life provides, and walk away not having developed any emotional connection to that collegiate institution. NFL players are working for contracts, endorsements and celebrity fame. For this and many reasons, I simply don’t watch the NFL unless a player from my alma mater is involved. Even then, it’s for the purpose of delighting in the success of a fellow Auburn Tiger.
Recently, one of the areas of refuge from stress and politics for Americans has indeed, like everything else, become political. It began with a man who wore socks emblazoned with cops depicted as pigs, kneeling for the National Anthem. He was protesting police brutality. But let’s be very real here—many of these NFL players who commit violent crimes at a higher rate than almost any other occupational demographic, have gotten off easy on charges of domestic abuse, assault, battery, and rape. It seems to me that the system is working out pretty well for them. Many say, “hey, it’s free speech.” Cool. Fantastic. I’m all for that. I love free speech. Without free speech, I wouldn’t have a job. But don’t be hypocrites, NFL. Because for those of us who do our research we remember when you wouldn’t allow a player to wear pink to honor his mother battling breast cancer. We remember the Dallas Cowboys’ desire to wear a decal honoring the five police officers who were murdered—you shut them down. We remember when you wouldn’t allow a Tennessee Titan to wear something honoring the fallen on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. This protest is being performed by a bunch of petulant jerks whom America has been VERY good to. It’s hard to have sympathy for a recidivistic group of egos making tens of millions of dollars a year. Another argument is that they’re standing up for the little man, for those without an audience. What exactly is this protest accomplishing? This protest achieves literally nothing except angering fans to the point of ripping up tickets and burning their former favorite players’ jerseys. If they really wanted to do something, they’d donate to the Innocence Project, form a coalition and partner with local/state government, address the issue in an active manner. But they are not. The extent of their action is, in fact, inaction.
And by the way, the hero Kaepernick who wants so much change…he’s not even registered to vote. We all know how easy it is to register to vote. Heck, here in California, even an illegal alien can do it. So why, Colin Kaepernick, wouldn’t you utilize your first and arguably most effective means of protest-voting?
Bottom line is it’s the wrong time to protest. Do you think if you went to work and protested something while doing your job that you wouldn’t be terminated? This is company time. We don’t stand and honor the flag with our National Anthem for all of the things wrong in America. America is not perfect. But we honor her for the things that are right because there are a lot of really freaking good things about this country, better than anywhere else. But since Kaepernick supports the Castro regime, maybe he should give Cuba a try. And Colin, take your comrades with you.
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