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My Take on NFL Protests No One Will Like

by John on 09/28/2017

nfl protestsI hope when you read this on my pages you will continue to voice your opinions.  But I also hope you will stop the attacks on others who voice opinions different from yours.

Hear me out on how low we’ve fallen as a nation in our discourse and how this national online shout-fest symbolizes what is wrong with this country.

We are now a nation of:

  • Wound collectors
  • Entertainment addicts
  • Problem deniers.
  • People who have no concept of what freedom really is.

I am not minimizing anyone’s beliefs surrounding this controversy.  Both sides have feelings and experiences that make sense and should be respected.

  • NFL players, many of whom are minorities, worry about police brutality against minorities.  Check.
  • Anti-protesters worry about our national security in these chaotic international times and we want to stick by our military.  Check on that one too.

But you’re arguing over something that was manufactured by this President with tweets and an attempt to whip up a campaign rally – not even a proposed law.

It’s like a couple arguing on their front lawn about who left the stove on while the house burns and no one calls the fire department.

What’s worse: Trump’s actions may have been illegal for a President to influence a privately held company on hiring and firing.

Yes, I lean towards the belief that he is unfit to be President.  But that doesn’t mean we have to be unfit as Americans.

Why do we allow Trump to play us?  Pay attention to what is really happening here.

He knows how to dig at your myopic, self-involved wounds.  He knows you all want to be part of the yelling about any slight.  He does this to avoid solving real problems for all Americans.  And he also knows how to bastardize the concept of freedom.

So here’s how I feel about the issue:

I come down on both sides.

NFL players taking a knee to protest police violence is fine with me.  This is a peaceful statement. No rocks are thrown. No one is getting hurt.

However, I have no problem with NFL players who stand for the anthem because they believe it represents solidarity in the country and they want to back our military.  We need our military.

So I won’t criticize the US Presidents Cup team for standing today at opening ceremonies.  It is their right.

I also have no problem with military people saying they fought so that people like the NFL players have the freedom to protest.

My real problem lies in the hypocrisy of many conservatives who play the freedom game both ways.

Take healthcare.  They want to abolish the individual mandate.  Forcing someone to buy insurance is not freedom, they say.

But the counter response is that the individual mandates would force all Americans to be responsible for their own healthcare catastrophe.  So they would say, as I do, not having healthcare infringes on my right to have cost-effective healthcare because if someone with no coverage is seriously hurt or sick, the healthcare system dumps that cost onto paying healthcare customers.

Pay attention to this detrimental change in our national mindset.

We have come to believe that our freedom to do what we want to overrides others freedom from the consequences of that choice.

Look at the NFL controversy.

The protesting NFL players’ right to protest infringes on the beliefs of others who want to go to a football game free of political statements or any statements that might hurt our military.

OK I get that.  But here’s where I see hypocrisy.  It seems the same people opposed to the NFL players’ actions are the same ones who want to abolish the individual mandates.

Now some of you will think I am a Socialist for pointing this out.  It wouldn’t be the first time — even though I am opposed to Bernie Sanders single-payer.  I like to think I am encouraging responsibility to exist with our freedoms.

Should people opposed to the NFL protests be labeled racists?  If that person uses racial attacks to voice their opinion, then yes.  But I have seen minorities come out against the NFL players.

At the same time, to dismiss racism completely in this argument is wrong too.

My point is this: we use both sides of the freedom scale when it is convenient for us.

Does an NFL player taking a knee really hurt you as an American?  You might not agree with it, but it doesn’t really affect you.

Does someone saying that as Americans we should stand for the flag and what it stands for really denigrate your protest?  Not really.

Remember this: assaulting someone else’s beliefs does not raise yours.

The discourse here on my pages overall is very good.  And I appreciate it.

Has it gone off base at times?

Sure.  I have privately asked people to tone down the personal attacks.

And yes, I have blocked people I consider extreme or unhinged who offer no credible sourcing or research to back their claims.  Those are few and far between.

But on a bright note, there have been people on my pages who have passionately gone after each other and then ended up as friends.

So, have at it.

Just remember, someone else has a point of view and experience you might not have that doesn’t need to be attacked.

If anything, it should be embraced.  If you’re worried it might infringe on yours, then maybe yours isn’t that strong.

And most importantly, stop being played by the politicians who are controlled by special interest money.  Think for yourself.

And start demanding this much debate on things like: tax reform; healthcare; cyber security; and our standing in the world.

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