The National Football League was sent into a tailspin when maligned quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a stand by kneeling during the moment of the pregame’s National Anthem. As many would suspect, chaos ensued.
Kaepernick would soon become the face of anti-nationalism. Sponsorship within the NFL started to dwindle, as both its viewership and fan base were deadlocked in a sociopolitical civil war.
Owners took a stand. Players took a stand. Fans took a stand. Sponsors took a stand. Even the President of the United States took a stand.
Yes, President Donald John Trump was vehemently against any sort of National Anthem protest when he shared his opinion that players should be disciplined (fired to be exact) for not standing during the National Anthem.
Social media exploded as a result of the President's words.
The NFL would take a major hit as viewership dipped. 50% of the fanbase were in support of the POTUS. 50% of the fanbase were in support of the player's right to protest.
What's a league to do?
The players want to use company time (not their own independent platform) to protest against something the owners (their bosses) are vehemently against. The owners want to deny the players the right to protest about an issue they hold near and dear to their hearts. After all, no one should be against the act of fighting injustice, right? Right?
You compromise, compromise, compromise.
Sure, there will be people who are on the players side who think this is against the player's right to protest. On the contrary, there will be people who are just as passionate about patriotism and the slightest opposition to it, these people will see as a threat. I say....grow up!
There's a rule in journalism that says, "If your mother says she loves you, you investigate it." That means, you don't give people the benefit of the doubt. You don't take everything told to you at face value. You do the work and investigate it.
After having a quick conversation with a friend of mine (we call him Google), he told me the darndest thing: Green Beret Nate Boyer (that guy in jeans and shirt in the photo above) is responsible for this kneeling. Wait. What?
Yes, it was hot shot Boyer's idea to have Kaepernick to kneel during the national anthem. It was Mr. Boyer who saw Kaepernick sitting during the National Anthem and was like, "Hey man. what's going on there bro?" (He didn't really say that)
But after a few back and forths, Boyer and Kaepernick came to a (ahem)....compromise. Boyer was sympathetic to Kaepernick's concerns and Kaepernick was sympathetic to Boyer's values. Mr. Boyer insisted that Kaepernick kneel. Why would a Green Beret insist that a player disrespect our flag, our country, our military, and our values?
Well, I guess it doesn't. You see Mr. Boyer said, "Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother's grave, you know, to show respect. When we're on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security." (His words, not mine)
Think about it: We kneel to show respect for fallen soldiers. We kneel to show humbleness before God, we kneel to ask for each other's hand in marriage. We even kneel before Zod. (Okay, well maybe not, but you get the point)
As it turns out, Kaepernick isn't doing this to disrespect He's doing it to respectfully mourn the injustice within our country. You don't have to have his point of view to know that we have tons of injustice going on. But I digress.
Before you get all giddy, let's make one thing perfectly clear. Chances are you are not going to change people's mind on the other side of this issue. Likewise, they will not change yours. And like Mr. Boyer who is obviously okay with the kneeling, there are many of our great men and women who oppose the idea. I get it.
For those who are pro-kneeling (is that a phrase? Can we coin it? I call dibbs on it. Pay me later), be mindful that you are not in the position to make any demands. As fans, you have a right to protest. But be mindful others have a right to counter protest. As players, you have a right to protest. Also, as players, you must be mindful that the platform you are currently on isn't yours and you are an employee hired to do a job in the manner the bosses see fit. The NFL isn't like your everyday workforce job. You don't have a right to play in it. You are privileged to play in it. You have a right to be employed, you do not have a right to be employed by the NFL. When you sign contracts, you agree to a lot of hidden language.
For those who are anti-kneeling (is there a better word that I can use?), you must be mindful that people have a right to protest and just as you feel strongly about an issue, there is always another side of the aisle. As fans, you should feel proud to see your team show respect to your country, but you must be mindful that not everyone shares your level of patriotism. Any form of forced patriotism isn't patriotism at all. As owners, you must realize that morale is the key to any business. Your league consists of 90% of the type of individuals who are protesting. I've never seen a business thrive using 10% of its employees. I'm not saying. But then again, I'm just saying...
Finally, to our President of the United States. My man, Donald John Trump. Mr. Art of the Deal. Mr. Make America Great Again. My pick and my candidate for 2020. This isn't your fight.
As for you, my readers, I'd like to thank you all for taking the time to read my article, and feel free to share and comment and let us know what you think.
Until next time.
What you may not know is that Cedric is also a Christian Apologist who uses biblical principles to tackle the world's most confounding conflicts and issues.