The NFL and the National Anthem

I have already written a story about this, but wanted to write another one since this topic has been a main story in the news lately. Personally, I will always stand for the anthem out of respect for my Dad and everyone else in the military. I also respect someone’s right not to stand, if they choose not to. These are simply my observations and opinions, and they are worth exactly what you pay for them.

This started with Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the National Anthem to protest his view of social injustice. He received a lot of criticism for his actions, but it did bring the topic up for discussion in the country. In my first story, I asked the question, “What is the next step?”

This is what I posted last October:

   If the true goal is to start a dialogue, to me the next step would seem the people who are getting the attention and media coverage should reach out to the Chamber of Commerce in the city of their choice. They could work with them to set up a meeting with community leaders. The leaders could discuss what is needed to make their entire community safer. Then you could have more meetings with other members of the community. They could present actions everyone could take to help make their communities safer for everyone. The people who wanted this dialogue should then persuade the media to cover this and start reporting success stories. I think this could be the next step, but I’m sure there are other great ideas out there. At least it’s a step towards uniting our country.

The original purpose of this protest has gotten lost. Now the main talking points in the media are how standing, or not standing for the anthem is dividing the unity of the teams and our country. Every story is about why some people didn’t stand, or why someone did. It is about how different teams or individuals are protesting, or not protesting. How some have decided to stay in the locker room, or the tunnel for the anthem. It has turned into a debate on Freedom of Speech.

In the meantime, has anyone heard of Malcom Jenkins? He plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, and has decided to take his own actions on this topic. He has talked with police departments, and went on a ride along so he could understand their side. He went to Washington and talked with lawmakers. He went to community leaders to discuss how to make their communities safer. There are other athletes that are taking similar, productive actions, but we never hear about it. Probably because it doesn’t make a good headline.

It is my opinion there are more situations in our communities and our country of people working together to help each other, than not. We will never hear about them, but that’s not why any of these good people do what they do. They perform these actions simply because it’s the right thing to do. This is the America I know, and I refuse to let this current situation define us any other way. We are better than that.

I am confident I can work on helping others as long as I focus on being the kind of man my Angel Shannon can be proud of. I will always LOVE AND MISS YOU sweetheart.

Next week: Surgical waiting room

P.S. I will keep an open mind, unless you don’t think John Deere is the best. Then, to quote my Dad: “You’re seldom right, but this time you’re wrong again.”