We are currently witnessing a battle between the NFL and players protesting during our national anthem and the American public. Though our President is now interjected into the conflict, I think it is important to remember how it started. It started with San Fransisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s 2016 protest by taking a knee for the reason he said was “I’m not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” He said his protest was, “… bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” It seems his initial sentiment about an injustice included protesting the flag and country, though that is not the reason of every player. Racism does still exist and will unless we change the human heart which only God can do but the vast majority of police officers are not going around every day everywhere killing people. We also seem to forget that he is the same player who wore socks on the practice field with a pig in a police uniform. What message was that sending? He is the one people are finding it hard to see the players protest disassociated from.
As far as the President goes I think there is no reason to use profanity in his comments or suggest what private business owners should do to their employees. I feel there are issues like N. Korea, Islamic Terrorism, the Iran Nuclear Deal, immigration reform, healthcare, tax reform … that are much more threatening and deserving of his focus. I do believe it is well within his office as the President to defend honoring our national anthem. He is allowed to be passionate about it, without calling people names.
To the protesters, on the other hand, no matter what their protest is, or what each individual player says it is about for them, I feel they are visually displaying disregard for the moment of honor and custom in their example. Why does their show of unity and protest have to be made to look like dishonor of others in the process if they truly want to get a message out? There is no way around the visual message it communicates. In a failed attempt to overcome the visual message, the Pittsburgh Steelers owner made an effort to contact season ticket holders to explain their position. The reason he had to come out and explain why they didn’t come out for the anthem is because you cannot overcome the optics or visual example not coming out sends to people. No matter what they say is the reason people are more moved by what they see. People don’t feel it is the time and place for protest and that is not what they paid their money to see.
The players are not given a platform in that setting to explain the deeper issue and the optics is viewed as dishonoring the colors others have spilled blood, life, and limb for. Their protest can be done in other ways without distracting or detracting from that moment of honor. They might have a right to protest but would it be in good taste to protest everywhere? Is a right to protest the right thing to do? I would say no, not in every setting. Why would most people realize it wouldn’t be fitting in every setting, for instance, like a funeral ceremony?
It is because it would be misguided, misplaced, and inappropriate in that setting.
It is because they would do more harm to the cause they are trying to get people to acknowledge.
Most people have such a visceral reaction to it they won’t inquire deeper because most families have someone who fought for our nation and have been trained to honor that moment and memory during the national anthem. (It is a part of our U.S. Law Code 36 U.S. Code § 301 though there are no penalties, no one goes to jail, and nothing is said about enforcement). I feel they do more harm to the cause they are trying to get people to acknowledge and their protest is ineffective in that setting. I find it strange that their so called show of unity is causing division. Why do players get to redefine what that moment is about? I’d rather ask the family of someone who lost their life defending the flag and had it presented to them at their funeral define it.
Jesus said, “Wisdom is justified of all her children in Luke 7:35.” That means one of the ways you will know if something is wisdom is by its offspring, its children, what it produces. The fruit of this is doing nothing to change the minds of people but rather causing people to become more entrenched and angry. Proverb 16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
It also is apparent that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL have a political lane they’ve chosen to drive in and allow to be interjected into the viewership of the American public. They threatened North Carolina and Texas over a bathroom law that requires people to use the right male or female bathroom; they wouldn’t allow the Dallas Cowboys to honor police officers in the murder of Dallas policemen; they threatened to remove the state of Georgia plans for having a Super Bowl in Atlanta over protecting the First Amendment rights of Pastors regarding the performance of same-sex marriage. Now we have the anthem protests. It is my opinion that Roger Goodell & political correctness are ruining the NFL.