Taking A Stand Or A Kneel?

Are you ready for some football?

Or are you ready for who is or who isn’t standing for the National Anthem before the kickoff?

President Trump stirred it up this weekend when he blasted the National Football League (NFL) for the players who aren’t standing for the National Anthem before football games.

Well, there are many sides to this issue.  Any side you take in this will surely bring out the ire from the other side.  The debate on this is very heated.  It’s a shame that the anthem is stuck in the middle of this debate.

First, lets go to the original issue that started all of this.  The recent horrible incidents of white police officers shooting African-Americans caused former San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colon Kapernick to attempt to draw attention to the issue by taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem because he felt our country was not doing enough about it.  Other players later joined in with this form of protest.

I understand the reason for the protest and the thought behind it but I wonder exactly how effective this type of protest really does in bringing about real change.  It might be more effective for these professional athletes to actually sit out the games and sacrifice their million dollar salaries to make a more meaningful impact.   It would mean a lot more to see a sacrifice than simply kneeling down during the anthem.

Yes, these athletes have a right to express their freedom of speech because, like it or not, is just as much freedom of speech too.  I don’t agree but it is their right.  I just question how effective it is.

As a former member of the military, I will tell you that it offends me when people show no respect for the Pledge of Allegance or the National Anthem.  I’m not just only referring to the protest but I also see people texting, talking on the phone or even talking during these times.  It is not the time to protest, it is a time to show unity as Americans.  This is a time to show why we are the “United” States of America.  So, kneeling or sitting isn’t showing unity at all.  It saddens me to see how divided we really are now.  When our military and their families are making the sacrifices they are making for our country, seeing this does something to their morale.  Yes, I know they are also sacrificing for people to have freedom to make such protests but freedom of speech can be a two-edged sword.

Honestly, the whole issue of even playing the National Anthem at professional sports events should be stopped anyway.  This is a tradition that started during the World Wars to help keep people together during the war effort.  This is a tradition that really needs to be removed now.   Just take the Anthem out of this whole equation.  There’s no need for it at football games anyway.  It has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the outcome.  A sporting event is not the place for any kind of show of patriotism.  It’s just a game.

The final thing to add here is a President trying to force the issue.  In a time where we have constant tweets from our president, politics are now involved in a professional sports league.  Again, whether we like it or not, it is still a form of someone’s freedom of speech.  So, now, it is not drawing attention to any real issues anymore as much as a protest against the President’s tirade about it on Twitter.

It’s a real mess now.  So this has created a dilemma where if you want to remain standing for the Anthem you are labeled as one political agenda and if you don’t then you are lumped into another group.

We are not united.   It’s plainly evident that we are a divided country.  It took one lone football player taking a knee during a meaningless preseason game to bring attention to that more than the real reason he did it in the first place.

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