If you weren’t paying attention you may not have felt it, as some of our nation’s freedoms were peeled away to appease the fragile egos of our nation’s conservative population. I recall going to Mets games, Devil games, Giant games and Jet games as a child and hearing the announcer speak out, “Please rise and remove your caps, for the playing (singing) of our National Anthem.” A request made to those in attendance to salute the nation’s flag before the game began.
The announcer did not say, “Rise and remove your caps, as is mandatorily dictated by your contracts…” It was a request.
Regardless on your opinion regarding Football, respecting our nation’s armed forces, police brutality, the Black Lives Matter movement and Colin Kaepernick, understand that the NFL’s new policy is a bad thing for its players, peaceful protests and our nation’s freedoms.
Let us remember:
● Kneeling during the anthem was a protest statement crafted with the support and cooperation of a Green Beret veteran
● Kneeling during the anthem was never a protest against the nation’s military
● Police brutality against minorities is still a marked problem in this nation
● White privilege is a very real thing
● Players standing on the sidelines for the National Anthem is a relatively new phenomenon (since 2009)
● The action of kneeling does not hurt anyone or put anyone’s life in danger
● The protest doesn’t condemn a way of life, cultural group or system of belief
I support the player’s right to kneel during the National Anthem. I suggest for the NFL Players’ Association to push back against the league and kneel as a group. Because now, the protest has become about more than any one thing. Now, we as a nation, need to protest for the very right to protest. We, as a nation, need to protest because corporations and political parties have stepped into our workplace and demanded that we as people comply with their political gesture.
Your employer should not have the right to dictate your religious, cultural or political identity. Your employer should not be able to make you act in contrast to your beliefs. Your employer should not be legally allowed to fine, fire or reprimand you for these actions.
I urge all athletes in all sports to kneel during the anthem (or for entire teams to forgo the National Anthem in the locker rooms) until the owners of these teams and the elected president of the United States realize that it is not acceptable to impinge upon our rights and freedoms.
I apologize for the digression from Mets baseball but I felt strongly that something needed to be said.