We all survived yesterday’s (latest) Doomsday prediction only to be slammed with the planned protests in the NFL.  It’s everywhere.  My eyes hurt.

The President leaned on his catchphrase from his TV show, “You’re Fired!” stating those who took a knee should be let go from their jobs.  Well, that’s about as un-American as it gets.  Never mind it is illegal. PrezDT is a business owner and oughta know that one. Brings about some serious NFL-level HR nightmares.

Imagine just how HR the HR Manager has to be to be in charge of an NFL franchise?!  Does the White House have an HR Dept?  I bet they had a tough time this morning.  “Ummm…. Mr. President, take an anger squeezy ball and we need to talk……..”

So here it is in case you’re under a rock.  And if you hate NFL, this has to be on every last nerve you possess…..

The NFL players feel they have a platform and a protest.   They have fans and non-fans supporting this voice.

Those fans who are offended about this form of protest feel they may take their dollars elsewhere if this protest continues and non-fans are irritated and voicing their continued hatred of the game.

Welcome to America.   Where our freedoms seldom find us on the same side.  Try explaining this to someone from a foreign country who came here seeking the “Dream”.  Some may have been oppressed and view the opportunity to even protest at all as a big-ticket luxury item.  Others may find it offensive.  Others still may have arrived and become victims to bigotry (that DOES still exist) and support this platform.

I’ll preface my POV as stating I am a proud daughter, granddaughter, mother, and niece of veterans.  So I have a slant that I’ll openly put on the table.

However, I do have empathy for what it is they are trying to say.   I have zero for the President after his HR nightmarish tweet.   Using his Twitter-platform to call for the firing of anyone executing their right to free speech confuses me in the best of scenarios.  He has/had an opportunity to lead… and he is missing it;  Over and over.

So, my view.   The NFLers are free to protest.  My opinion:  the message is very, very real, the delivery……  getting headlines for all the wrong reasons.   What they are doing is not generating dialogue to improve race relations.  It is also, yet again, all about black and white.  Our country is not black and white, the problem is not black and white (only).

  • All white people are not evil and privileged beyond understanding.
  • All black (and other rarely-mentioned shades of brown) people are not deserving of the profiling and bigotry they far-too-often face.
  • Not all cops are bad.
  • Not all cops are good.

I am not hearing anything about the POINT of the protest. All that is being discussed is the kneeling.  Who gives a shit about kneeling?
Well, the veterans sure do!!!   They are taking a major exception to the kneeling.  Those that have loved and lost in the ultimate way care deeply about that knee.  Men and women who bled for the right to take a knee or lock arms.

There are those who lost loved ones senselessly that caused these guys to want to take a knee.  They don’t feel like an equal part of this country.   Not all of those killed by police officers were murdered in cold-blood, I know.  (Save the argument)  and there ARE those who have been.  They bled and those who happened to be born in the wrong neighborhood and live in fear of those who are supposed to protect them… they need a voice.

The military and the veterans did not cause this argument.  The flag did not either.  I get what you are saying.  Hear them in return.  Now the military has become a piece of this dialogue.  They ask for the respect of the fallen on both sides.  Yet…….. no one is talking.

AGAIN.

I’m a solution-minded gal.   All these players “inspired” to make headlines protest could be doing so much more.  I liked the arm in arm thing today.  I think they gave to the President pretty hard that his call for termination over protest was not only illegal but fell on deaf ears, as it should have.  Our right to protest lives within that very flag.  President included.

What these pro football guys COULD BE doing with their collective very-public platform is start doing something useful with it.  Use a few bucks out of those millions and host a Summit.  A collective dialogue.  Bring in co-leaders to host it.  Develop an agenda.  Shake hands. Sit down. Talk… and I’m about to say something novel….. LISTEN!!!!! to each other.

Bring true community advocates, civic folks, police Chiefs, etc to the table to represent all sides that C-H-A-N-G-E is needed.  Growth.

Leave Every. Single. Stupid. Talking. Head. from Fox, CNN, MSNBC, etc at home.  Don’t give a single big-mouth from any side a chair at this table.   Forbid the extremists from infiltrating.  Tell everyone in the public it is going to be held in Boston and host it in a remote cabin in Oregon somewhere so the placard waving people who don’t want change and only want to scream at each other cannot get there.

I am not against all forms of protest.  I think there are times when protest is real and needed.  I also am hard-pressed to recall the last time a person I did not know screamed at me how wrong I am and it inspired me to go home and reflect.   Protest can have an opposite effect of making the other side dig in.  (just a thought)

Design action items on all sides and set milestones for achieving them.   Keep it going and keep trying.  It won’t succeed overnight but if you listen and find commonality, set your mind to figuring out how to support each other without bending over to a laundry list of demands, and everyone comes in trying to make this country better; then gradual improvement is made, and it fosters ongoing efforts to continue to come together.

These guys have that opportunity.  If I were a Colin Kaepernick I would take my multi-ethnic, multi-cultural background and say, “you know what, we need to talk”.  I would take my ability to garner publicity, put up some of my own money and seek some of my rich buddies to contribute and instead of making things worse, I would try to leave it better than I found it and it found me.

Lead by example Mr. Quarterback (supposed to be a leader).  I disagree with the President’s take on firing them and challenge his leadership as being more divisive than unifying.  He too has a platform, money both of his own and of the government’s to do something very similar to what the NFL dudes could be doing.  Yet, not a damn one of them is doing anything productive.

Personally, I cannot take the knee.  I struggle to maintain understanding what it is your saying because it’s a shit on those who gave you that right.  It is.  However, I DO understand what it is you are saying.

So very many NFL guys develop community programs with their monies.  Well, here’s one that is desperately needed.

My advice is:  Be better than the ratings-game and better than Twittering opinions.  Why not take your opportunity and do some good.   Lord knows this country needs some unifying right now.   Someone needs to do it.

 

 

 

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One thought on “NFL vs. Old Glory

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