The NFL may be backtracking on their leniency with the anti-anthem protests after a sustained public backlash, but that hasn’t deterred a number of civilians from taking up the gesture for them.
Americans have been having a heated debate regarding the National Football League’s latest scandal involving athletes who refuse to stand and address the American flag during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. The overwhelming majority of the nation finds the protests repulsive, not simply because of what the offenders are attempting to say, (that police are inherently racist), but more so because of the timing of their actions.
The National Anthem has always been a sacred moment during sporting events, and a time for reflection. It serves as a reminder to us all that brave men and women died so that we could enjoy watching a game in our free society. By refusing to acknowledge that fact, we refuse to acknowledge that sacrifice.
Now, as the NFL reels from an enormously impactful loss of revenue, due entirely to these protests, the league offices are considering implementing new rules to curb the offensive behavior. Some players have threatened an “uproar” should these new regulations go into effect, signaling an ugly battle on the horizon for the already-hurting league.
In Charlotte tonight, however, all eyes will be off the field as a large number of civilians have indicated that they will be participating in their own “kneel-in” protest outside of Bank of America stadium.
“Nearly 100 pastors and community leaders plan to hold a ‘Kneel-In’ protest outside Bank of America Stadium before the start of the Carolina Panthers-Philadelphia Eagles NFL football game on Thursday night.
“The protest intends to highlight ongoing police brutality and social and racial injustice, just as former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did while the national anthem was played before a 2016 NFL game, Bishop Kevin Long of Temple Church International-Charlotte told the Observer.
“’These things have yet to be properly addressed in our judicial system and the like,’ Long said.“Members of the new Pastors and Community Leaders Coalition will hold the protest at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Mint Street and Graham Street, according to Long.
“In a statement Wednesday night, the coalition said the kneel-in aims to shed light on ‘police brutality, lack of accountability for officers who’ve killed innocent and/or unarmed citizens, and the high rates of unemployment for minorities.’”
Weeks of tension between the NFL and We The People have led us to this moment, as the game of American football has become a lightning rod for racially-motivated protests.
The general consensus among Americans has been that the NFL should act to exclude politics from their platform. We The People look to the game as an escape from reality, and a time to gather with friends and step outside of our fiscal and political responsibilities, even if only for a few hours.
Unfortunately, with ESPN and the NFL continuing down this path of rampant politicization, there may be no end in sight to the insufferable antics of these millionaire man-children and their need for attention.