NFL Controversy – More Than Politics
As I have seen more and more on the news, on Facebook accounts, and tweets about the NFL and the controversy between standing with their hand over their heart and boycotting the anthem, I have been interested in the opinion of those who have served our country. I asked around and this was what I got from one of America’s heroes! I have never been a fan of talking politics or even football but this is far more than just those topics. This is the topic of respect or the lack there of for all those men and women who have given their lives to make the flag something to be respected!! Some have even made the ultimate sacrifice for what?!?! For America, for freedom, for us to take pride in the flag that stands for both America AND freedom!
*Written by a Guest Writer
Rough year for my favorite sport.
I’m a huge football fan. I have been a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers since 1996. I have been the commissioner of fantasy football leagues for the past 11 years. I thoroughly enjoy coming home from church and sitting on the couch to watch the players on my fantasy football teams score me points.
I am also a veteran. I’ve been in the army since 2000, and I have been deployed three times. I made the decision at 12 years old, that I wanted to serve my country. I knew back then that I loved this country (the greatest country on Earth). I love the people in this country.
What Do YOU See in the Flag?
Back in 2011, the question was proposed to me “What do you see when you look at our flag?” My reply then, was, “I see family, and I see friends. I see every Small Town neighborhood where children play and people get to enjoy being Americans.” I never looked at our flag as a symbol of our government. It was always about the people. Our flag and our Anthem and most of all, our Pledge of Allegiance, is about the other people in this great nation. It is because of the people in this country, that I chose to become a soldier.
Last year, when I saw an NFL quarterback kneeling during the national anthem, I got pretty angry. I felt disrespected. I felt like he was disrespecting everyone in our great nation. I wanted him fired.
A lot has happened since then. I’ve had a lot of time to think about what has taken place. I would never disrespect the flag or the national anthem. I would never put myself in a position to look like I was disrespecting the American people. I would never do any of those things because I want what is best for our country.
What I have come to understand, is that at least some of the men protesting, also want what is best for our country. I understand that there is some racism in this country. I understand that there is a small number of crooked law enforcement officials in this country. I understand that innocent people should not have to get killed. I respect those who also want these things to change.
What I don’t understand, is what it is going to take for these protests to stop. I’ve had meaningful conversations with others who don’t have the same view as myself. I’ve brought up Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. I spoke to them about the changes that happened because of the Civil Rights Movement. I don’t see any tangible changes that will take place because of these protests. So far, I haven’t got an answer as to what tangible changes they see either.
If I was an owner of a team, I’d sell it. If I was the coach of a kneeling player, I bench him. Because I was a spectator, I quit watching. I believe there is no means to an end to this protest. Football has taken a backseat to politics, and I’ve never enjoyed politics.
I watch all the fans in the stands every time these protests make the news. The fans are standing with their hands over their hearts and showing respect for their fellow Americans. The majority of fans don’t want their team’s players to protest their country. These players don’t make their fans’ desires a priority. And pretty soon, the fans are no longer going to make the players a priority. Football, unfortunately, is over for me.
I encourage each individual person to make their own decision on what is right and wrong when it comes to this protest. No man, should make the decision to join a protest, or hate a protest, based on the words of one man. No matter what position; player, coach, owner, or POTUS, have to say, I am only here for the glory of one, Jesus Christ.
SSG, US Army