Man, my Facebook feed and my Yahoo! “news” feed have been filled with the NFL. I mean, you’d think it was Superbowl season or something. That’s the only football game I ever watch, BTW and if the Patriots aren’t playing I’m only watching it for the commercials and to eat yummy food that I try to avoid the rest of the year. So, the NFL–and pro sports in general– means little to nothing to me. Your mileage may vary on that one.
I know this is hard to wrap your head around. I know this is an incendiary topic. I know you might not want to read what I have to say.
You know what? That’s perfectly OK.
I am here writing in my own blog exercising my Freedom of Speech. I don’t ask anyone to listen to me. I only ask that I be allowed to do so uninhibited. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less.
That’s what the NFL players are doing too.
They probably would not be doing it en masse if our darling “president” hadn’t called one of their team mates a ‘son of a bitch’. He did. I heard it. I saw it. Never in my life have I ever heard a President of the United States say such a thing and I hope to all the Gods I never hear it again. Ever.
C’mon, people, we’re better than this. I believe that to the very depths of my soul. WE. ARE. BETTER. THAN. THIS.
My family has a very long history of serving in the military….all the way back to the Revolutionary War wherein a bunch of nasty filthy poorly armed rebels kicked King George’s ass and won freedom for the United States of America. My family members served from that war all the way up to Afghanistan. Each generation. Each and every one. So a Love of Country has been greatly instilled in me. So has a Love of the Constitution. That document guarantees the right of those NFL players to kneel, lock arms, turn their backs, dance, lay down, not show up at all when the National Anthem is played.
That is one of the things that makes America GREAT.
(Not the Orange One)
If YOU are bitching your head off about it then I put to you one simple fact; YOU are UNAMERICAN. Yes, you are. Deal with it.
Do those guys get paid an absolutely obscene amount of money to play a game?
Yeah, they do.
Do you know who’s fault that is?
Ours. We hailed them as heroes. We buy tickets to see them play. We eat wrinkled hot dogs and drink warm beer at the games they play. We buy the merchandise our favorite teams put out.
Did those guys always make that kind of money?
No. Of course they didn’t. Well, ya know, not 90% of them anyway. They played pee-wee football (baseball, basketball, hockey, tennis..whatever) then they played Junior Varsity. Then they played Varsity. Then, since they were really good at what they do, some of them got college scholarships and played at that level. Then they went on to The Big Leagues. In absolute truth, they ARE the personification of The American Dream.
Some of you want to degrade them for it.
Shame on you.
A great deal of them quite literally ‘came from nothing’ to play under the bright lights and hear the roar of the crowd. In other words; before they got where they are now they did, indeed, face many challenges. Some of which undoubtedly were racial in nature. So to say they shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing is to completely ignore their backgrounds. But none of them were born in the NFL. None of them were born on a playing field. They all came from somewhere else and worked their butts off to get where they are now.
No, they’re not ‘military men’ but you know what? The military has never been what makes this country great. It’s US. The little guys. The ones who go to work day after day after day who really pay the cost to be the boss. No one will ever sing songs about us. No one will ever recognize us for all we do for our families, our communities, and our country. That’s ok. We don’t do it for glory or recognition. We do it because it’s the right thing for us to do. Then we spend some of that money on…football games. We bet on these people as though they were nothing more than a horse running in a race. We demand that they win. We demand that they entertain us. Some of us treat them like horses and demand that they sit down and shut up and never behave like a human beings with thoughts, feelings, and desires of their own.
We’re shits in that regard. We really are.
The Constitution guarantees us the right to peacefully protest whatever we perceive to be an injustice. Any military/veteran who would put those people down for doing just that did not ‘serve’ for the right reasons. But I understand that, some of you don’t, I grew up in a military town. I know just jackwads those people can be and as a result I never automatically thank someone for their service until I know they did it for the right reasons and not because a Court made them or they didn’t have any other prospects in this life or because, face it, they just like killing people. If you served to protect this country and all it stands for then you, more than anyone else, should be the first one to stand up and defend those NFL players rather than calling them ‘sons of bitches’ who should be ‘fired’.
For me personally, I will always stand for the National Anthem and do so with my hand over my heart and I will tear up every single time I hear it sung correctly. I don’t think about soldiers when I do it because plenty of civilians have sacrificed to make this country what it is. I think about AMERICA and all it stands for; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
A few weeks ago hubby and I were walking around the Washington County Fair. It was a lovely day. It was also a bit eye-opening as it was in the midst of the Confederate Flag Controversy. For a ‘city girl’ (hahahaha) like me it was an interesting day. Hubby and I discussed it endlessly as we walked around looking at the sights. There we were an ‘inter-racial couple’ walking around among the….please excuse the vernacular…hicks…that live less than fifty miles from us and it was like walking into another world. We didn’t get any stares even though hubby was a bit anxious about it. I asked him why that was. He was the one who reminded me that we are ‘inter-racial’. I looked at him and said something to the effect of; “I never see us that way. I never see you that way. To me you’re just Roy.” He looked at me, frowned a little, nodded his head and said; “So says the little white girl.” We’ve been together 33 years so I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or be completely insulted. After a few seconds I nodded and realized he was right. I grew up, like him, during the Vietnam War Era. I saw lots of boys and girls who didn’t look like me come through my school. I saw lots of people who did look like me call those boys and girls nasty names for absolutely no reason at all–they were quite nice kids!–and I never did understand why. Not once. I will never fully understand why. For that I am grateful. I wish there were more people like me in this world. Maybe there are. Maybe we’re just silent about it as we go about our daily lives seeing nothing but other human beings as we do so. I don’t know.
As we walked around the Washington County Fair looking at the sights, the horse show started, and The Star Spangled Banner played over loud speakers. Without a word or a glance toward each other, Hubby and I both stopped in our tracks. We stood up straight. We put our hands over our hearts. We stayed absolutely still until the song was over. Trust me….not everyone around us (no matter their color) did the same. In fact, most of them didn’t even seem to realize the song was playing. They were totally oblivious to it. It made me sad.
I do know there are other people in this country–this world–who don’t feel the same way I do. I know there are other people who tear people down based any difference they can possibly find. They do it for one reason and one reason only; to feel better about themselves. They are sad pathetic creatures. I’d feel bad for them but they don’t have anyone to blame but themselves for the way they are.
I know this; there is only one race…the Human Race. We are all in this sorry mess together. If we don’t find a way out we’re all fucked.
If finding our way out means some people taking a knee during the Star Spangled Banner before a game…so be it. It’s a hell of a lot better that screaming at each other and mowing each other down in the streets.