A few weeks ago, I posted my thoughts on the Colin Kaepernick protest of not standing during the playing of the national anthem. Since then, more players have joined in this disrespectful act. There have been reports that even some high school players are now not standing in protest of what these players view as oppression towards minorities in this country. Some folks out there feel that the actions by these players will finally bring much-needed changes that our country really needs. I see things totally different. In fact, sports in general could be facing a huge PR nightmare in the future if more players become a part of these protests.
The comeback by people who support these protests is always that the player has a constitutional right to not stand during the anthem. I totally agree on that point. But isn’t there a better way to show your displeasure at a particular part of society that may be unfair towards minorities? Do these players not realize that these protests are insulting towards thousands of people who may be watching your games either in the stands or on television? These men and women have served our country so you can go out and play some game and make millions of dollars. Is it not too much of an effort to take a moment to honor these people who have made your life so much better? That also includes many other generations of soldiers who have fought and died for this country. That flag represents what these people have fought for.
I think I join many millions of fans who are completely turned off by these acts of disrespect towards our country. It is people like me who support these athletes and help them make their astronomical amount of money. The more these protests go on, the more I feel like just turning off the television or not buying a ticket to the game. Hey, it is your right to protest and it is my right not to support some league who supports such disrespectful behavior towards our country. If more fans like me get turned off, the league will face a huge decline in popularity and lose a lot of money.
If a player is upset about police brutality, they should do what any normal citizen should do and contact the law enforcement agency that is involved. Sitting down during a national anthem is not really going to accomplish much in my opinion. It will further polarize people on this social justice issue. Maybe ESPN can lead the charge and hold a special where players can hold a town hall meeting to address these issues. While they are discussing these so-called acts of oppression towards minorities, another discussion about why so many minorities are losing their lives in these inner cities (see Chicago) should be included. Funny how many of these athletes do not touch that subject!
So these athletes want to have a talk about social justice for minorities? Cherry picking issues of justice and disrespecting people in order to get that discussion will not work and only make matter worse. It is time to stop the silly juvenile behavior of disrespecting our country. All this will eventually backfire in the player’s faces when the fans tune them out.