The National Football League has caught tons of flack for allowing players to kneel in protest during the playing of the National Anthem at the start of games. Until it was explained by Mr. Colin Kaepernick, then a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, it seemed to be disrespectful to the millions of military men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country and our current freedom. The lyrics of America’s anthem speak of the details of a victorious battle culminating in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
What many folks choose not to understand about this particular protest is that it has next to nothing to do with the military. It has everything else to do with how these “freedoms” result in unfair, unjust and unequal treatment towards people of color while law enforcement’s “Blue Wall of Silence” protects the police who are committing these heinous acts. Granted, when we view any alleged scene filmed on youtube, there’s NO guarantee that the action we are seeing started from the very beginning. Nonetheless, when unarmed men of color are killed yet heavily armed white men can be taken safely into police custody, we have to scratch our collective heads. Mr. Kaepernick’s non-violent way to protest these disparities was a radical yet headline-grabbing act of refusing to stand or salute the flag during the National Anthem.
Agree or disagree, here’s what I call a “pro test” to determine the need for a protest. The general goal is to bring attention to the serious issue or issues at hand. Sure, the question will always be what’s an appropriate time and place to stage one but ultimately, bringing attention to the people is tantamount to presenting a successful demonstration. I don’t know if I would have personally resorted to “taking a knee” as a Quarterback in American Football considering the surrounding circumstances. I am not being paid for my opinions or observations off the field. I can put up some great numbers and gain some major attention on the field by throwing the ball for touchdowns and leading my team to victories. Perhaps I could then bring the issue up during a post-game interview while basking in the afterglow of a win or arrange for a private interview with a reporter who shares my mutual respect for the issue at hand.
Isn’t it ironic how this particular protest has resulted in the initial “rabble-rouser” being released and NOT hired by ANY other NFL team to THIS day? The backlash alone has traveled all the way to the White House. Regardless of what we think of our President, anything he chooses to “measure in on” becomes political instantly! The NFL Owners’ actions have spoken a lot louder than any words they can muster. Despite his acute knowledge of the sport combined with his natural athletic prowess, Mr. Kaepernick remains unsigned with still NO immediate promises on the horizon.