NFL Controversy – Thoughts From a Veteran

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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!

NFL Controversy

*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.

NFL Controversy

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 have quit watching. I believe there are no means to an end with this protest. Football has taken a backseat to politics, and I’ve never enjoyed politics.

NFL Controversy

The Fans

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

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4 thoughts on “NFL Controversy – Thoughts From a Veteran

  1. Thank you for sharing this article. I think this is a disgrace to our country. It makes me feel that these people are ashamed of where they live and are not thankful for all our military people do for us to make our lives better. God Bless

  2. I’m surprised at how many people assume kneeling is an act of disrespect for the flag/military/anthem/country. In fact, the first football player to kneel (Colin Kaepernick, I think) chose the kneeling position to represent the flag (at half-mast.) It is not meant to disrespect anything or anyone, but to call attention to the racism that has led to too many deaths. — Do I think the protest has been effective? Hmm, I don’t know. But I do think it is anyone’s right, as an American, to engage in PEACEFUL protest. — To me, the disgrace is those who accuse these athletes of being ‘unpatriotic’ because they are exercising their 1st Amendment rights. (If they didn’t love this country, would they care enough to protest, to want it to live up to it’s promise?) As for those who gave their lives for this country, I suspect they felt pretty strongly about the rights guaranteed to us all, too. They might come closer to understanding the protesters’ desires than any of us. I’m more disgusted by politicians who are trying to stir up votes by using this issue to divide rather than solve the issues that actually led to the protests. —So…that’s my 2 cents worth, lol. I doubt I’ll return to these comments to see the vitriol spewed at me for daring to have an opinion that isn’t ‘they should just salute the flag & be grateful.’ (I mean, come on, the fact that athletes are well paid doesn’t mean they lose the ability to care about injustice & exercise their rights.) Anyway, I’ve expressed my opinion on Facebook, so I know I can expect that now the hate will flow in…

  3. The Definition of Patriotic is: Having or expressing devotion to and vigorous support for one’s country.
    The flag is a symbol for our country. The National Anthem is another symbolic representation of this country. As Americans we need to unite together to make our country strong. The more division that happens, the more conflict arises. Our country is a family. We are all different. We all have our own opinions on how things should be done. Take your own family for example. Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, etc We have division among each other, it’s just on a much smaller scale. We all have that weird uncle, or that crazy cousin, who we know we have to love anyway. God wants us to Love. Dark can not drive out Dark, only Light can. Lets me the Light of this world. Let us focus on our own homes, cleaning our rooms one by one. Change happens little by little. There is no such thing as a quick fix, for anything! It can be quite exhausting cleaning my own home, let alone trying to go out and clean up my neighbors, my town, my state, my country! Lets start small. Work on growing Love within our own homes before we start to tackle the world. Pray for them. Keep our words kind. Don’t judge. Do as Jesus would do. In the end, this too, will all be for God’s glory. He is the Great I AM.

  4. Here is my take on it- I am from a family of veterans. Hubby served,his brother, his Dad career. Both my parents were Korean War vets and all three of my brothers served. I came awfully close to serving.
    I think it is disrespectful but I dont think it has much to do with veterans, I think it is a choice made because they think the flag is racist as is the anthem. To those I ask… what do YOU propose we change our flag and anthem to? You have a solution? If you dont, then youre part of the problem of dividing our country even more.
    Personally, I feel the players need to keep their viewpoints and opinions to themselves while ‘at work’. They are there to play whatever sport it is, and they are paid very well to do it.
    Most if not all kneeling are high profile enough to take their ‘protest’ elsewhere and do it on their own time. If they did that I would have far more respect for them and say ‘yes you should do that’ Most dont want to do that ( do something on their own time) thats too much work. They want to showboat.
    To those showboating, I say bench them, or sanction.
    I watch football , and one game is was really surprised in seeing the kneeling happening was at Green Bay one of the only franchise owned by a city. I have also seen peewee coaches encouraging the kneeling and the kids have no clue what its about.
    OK I am ranting.
    Stand up, put your hand over your heart, show respect. If you cant do that, well, dont expect any respect from me. As for Colin Kaepernick I am glad he is out- he wasnt kneeling to signify half mast.

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