NFL Protest: Understanding A Dent In The Dirt

I’m proud of America, and despite her flaws, this country remains blessed and prosperous. We can’t get 7 family members in one house to decide on what to eat for supper, yet we expect 323,000,000 strangers to agree?

I’m struggling to get my mind wrapped around this nfl protest situation. My head says they should all be fired for their unpatriotic disrespect, but my heart says to keep seeking answers so my head doesn’t rule or ruin the day.

What puzzles me is exactly what it is that they are protesting? I hear the MSM’s talking points about social injustice causes, but that’s remaining typically vague as to not have to provide specifics and leaving options open to shift the protest focus when convenient.

Do this year’s entertainers support the same causes from last year’s guy who sat and then kneeled? If so, then why didn’t they all kneel with him last year? Did it take them a year to understand why that guy knelt in the first place? Was it not personally important or just too financially risky back then for the rest of them? Is it because of group think that whatever last year’s guy protested, that this year’s late-comers discover to be the newest, most important social injustice cause?

Again, I’m asking questions because I want to know the truth and the facts. I don’t want to hear the rhetoric and emotional self-entitled lullabies that coddle some into anger and others into apathy. I’d like to remain informed, and not dismiss an honest effort at cultural change by unjustifiably supporting a boycott of the nfl.

I’m also working to not intermingle a private business into the national narrative on social change. It should not be given the individual authority to set national policy. It is no different than Chick-fil-A‘s corporate policy to close on Sunday. It’s not a national religious debate, but a private company’s decision not to sell delicious chicken.

The quandary over the nfl’s front-facing stance on freedom of expression is contrary to their long-standing position of total conformity enforced by fines, suspensions and terminations.

This is a 32-page rule book covering everything from headbands to shoelaces. This is just for their costumes. Conduct covering sideline behavior to end zone celebrations are even more detailed.

Truth is, there is little room in the NFL‘s policy for freedom of expression, and is often mocked as the No Fun League. Yet, when a game crashes headlong into reality, the league suddenly supports freedom of expression.

There was no freedom to honor the Dallas Police Department officers killed last year, and the Dallas Cowboys were fined for wearing an emblem on their helmets anyway. Teams were prohibited from wearing 9/11 commemorative patches after the terror attacks.

So is it the nfl’s company position for freedom of expression to disrespect the nation’s anthem and flag, but it’s against league policy to show respect for national service and loss?

So, although this may be a naive attempt to understand the facts, and only the facts, I don’t have the highest of expectations for gaining an accurate appreciation for what is actually going down without the haze of emotion and political hackery. But I am completely and honestly interested in learning more about it.

God Bless America!
Do Good,
Scott

 

FIT@50 / Week 81 – The Tie

FIT@50 / week 81

The Tie:
 
This is my first season of Texas high school football. I’ve not been to a high school football game since I last felt the sharp crack of my left tibia and fibula in 1982.
 
While much less painful than that October night, I’ve enjoyed becoming a drum-line booster for our 14 year old. I love sports. I don’t care if its pee-wee football or senior citizens Bache ball, I enjoy the skill but more importantly, the heart of the competitor. It’s why I will not watch the NFL or any other team endorsing a disregard for America’s principles over the purpose of turning a profit.
 
When high schoolers kneel during the National Anthem to protest social injustices, just what injustices are they protesting? Maybe they are protesting the fact that over half of children their age live at or below the poverty level, and instead of getting to stay after school to play a game, they leave for work.
 
Maybe they protest that while Nike, UnderArmor and Riddell adorn their prepubescent bodies, kids from families who cannot afford socks will drop out of school at a rate 7 times higher than those who kneel while our nation’s anthem is played. And I’ll end with the fact that less than 30% of students to busy working afterschool jobs to feed themselves and their families than to play a game on Friday night will enroll in college. Oh, and of those that do, less than 50% will graduate.
 
Protesting an unspecified purpose is no protest at all—it’s imitation. I’ve yet to have the term “social injustice” operationalized. The only specific point of clarity is the name of a football team’s second string quarterback.
 
The ignominy of social imitation without fully understanding the implications is that only .04% of high school students who qualify will enlist in the military. Those 2 players out of a 54 person roster have already illustrated behavior non-conducive to military eligibility.
 
While I’m sure the back-up QB they pretend to understand appreciates the disregard for their yet undetermined futures, please accept that he’s fully enjoying the fruits of his one or two good seasons that netted him millions more than their relatives combined will have earned over multiple generations of living in a free nation.
 
So back to Texas high school football. Our 8 year old likes a girl from his class. A few weeks ago, I jokingly suggested he wear a tie to the game to impress her. He balked at the idea. Tonight, we pile in to drive to the stadium. It’s a chilly fall evening, so lil’ dude has his Harley Davidson jacket zipped up tight.
 
He flashes a smile and yanks down on the zipper. Yep, he’s got a tie clipped to his t-shirt. He seals up the surprise until they meet. Unfortunately, she didn’t show. Heartbroken, we return home and he sighs, “I wore this tie for nothing.”
 
I thought about it and understood it wasn’t for nothing. Although he didn’t like the look or idea of that checkered polyester tie over his school spirit t-shirt, he wore it for the right reason—respect for someone/something he cared about.
 
That’s much more than I can say for those children on their knees surrendering the honor of having the freedom to play games on Friday nights in the name of social injustices while 51% of their peers cannot afford the cost of a stadium ticket.
 
Do Good,
Scott
Chief Scott Silverii, Ph.D.