There has been no shortage of controversy in the NFL as of late, with a number of players and teams rallying around the shamed and untalented Colin Kaepernick.
Kaepernick, who was unable to land himself even a practice squad job during the off season, has remained an unfortunate presence in the NFL during the opening days of the 2017 season, as his unwarranted and ill-received protests of America’s police force continue to be emulated by other, still-employed, athletes.
While most of these continuing efforts to shame U.S. law enforcement have come as a result of players merely looking to grab headlines, they have not gone unnoticed by a multitude of Americans who are extremely displeased with the league’s inability or unwillingness to reprimand these disrespectful actions. Nearly all of these “protests”, (read: Cries for attention), have involved a player or players refusing to stand accordingly during the playing of our National Anthem.
The Cleveland Browns, who are destined for less-than-mediocre things this season, were the focus of the preseason with multiple players on the team kneeling during the Star Spangled Banner in the largest protest of its kind so far.
Police and first responders did not take kindly to the uncouth gesture, and a flag displaying spectacle for the Browns’ first home game of the regular season was nixed due to law enforcement’s unwillingness to participate.
That’s when the Browns took it up a notch, surprising all of America with their actions yesterday.
“When the Browns erupted from their locker room, they were flanked with numerous police officers, medics, firefighters, and military members. And once they lined up on the sideline for pregame festivities, many players stood arm-in-arm with a first responder.
“According to WNCX-FM, the decision to take the field with first responders was made last week after team officials met with Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams. They discussed how they could move the dialogue about social justice forward without alienating fans with the controversial national anthem protest.
“’We love our police department and our military and everything they do for us, and we respect what they do,’ Browns head coach Hue Jackson said after the game. ‘We showed that today, and we showed that we are all together in this.’
Before the anthem, the team even played a video on the stadium’s scoreboard ‘promoting a message of unity, inclusion and equality,’ WNCX reported.”
The massive reversal was seen by many as an adult moment in a league full of overpaid children, and was a welcome change from the unfortunately common thuggish behavior that the NFL has become known for.
Perhaps now that the first weekend of NFL games is behind us, and there are still no Kaepernicks in the league, the nation will be able to move beyond this dark piece of football history, and focus on the spirit of competition on the field, and the American spirit off of it.