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Monday November 20th 2017

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Which Side Of NFL Protest Of Players Taking a Knee Are You On?

Which side of the NFL protest are you on?  As our country gets more divided, the NFL lets it’s players add to the division.  Starting with Colin Kaepernick taking a knee and giving a short list of reasons, several NFL players have joined the “protest”.

But is what the players doing really a “protest” and is the NFL the right place to do it?  The NFL Protest by fans and protesters is a real protest, but is it making a difference?

Mr. Kaepernick has plenty of time off the grid iron to let the world know his opinion of political and cultural events in the United States.  So why did he choose to do it at work, and why are several players joining in at work?

Many believe the disparity in the police shootings is racially motivated, others socially and some economically.  Whatever the reasons, poor inner city persons of color are killing each other more every day than police do in a year, and very few of us have a true understanding of any of the cases.  We all know that CNN only creates headlines, not understanding.  So why are the players joining the headlines?

Politically charged protesters have started protesting the NFL for not letting Kaepernick play. Are they real fans or just fly by’s adding to the fight for the fun of the fight? Owners say they have better options for players, and since players are still taking a knee, that isn’t the issue.  But NFL players are making it an issue and therefore so are the protesters.  Protesters on both sides.

What other job lets its employees protest at work?  Imagine if you walked in to your job and took a minute in the morning to lash out against Obamacare or President Trump or stopped and knelt at the flag for five minutes.  Pick a hot topic. I know I would lose my day job.

Yes we all talk about the headlines at work, but we don’t make a show of it.  NFL players are fined for showboating in the end zone, why not showboating during the Anthem?  That is what this really is isn’t it?  Kaepernick lives a privileged life he can only live in the same country he is protesting.  That isn’t ironic, that is biting the hand that feeds him.

When a player is on the field, they are at work to entertain their fans, nothing else.  As fans we pay to be entertained at a football game.  We pay to connect to something that divides us for fun and sport, not politics.  Football give the fans a time to escape the fear, anxiety and divisive politics that reside outside of the stadium. Kaepernick brought it in.

By bringing politics into football, Kaepernick brought in all of the anger and divisiveness fans are trying to escape.  Should he really be allowed to come back for disrupting a game that paid him very well?  If we wanted politics we would watch Fox or CNN.

On the other side, Veterans are gathering force and protesting too.  While our country isn’t perfect, many Vets think that Kaepernick and the NFL players taking a knee are disrespecting them, vets of all color are feeling that their service has no value to the wealthy players.  This isn’t only about the Vets that are protesting the NFL, it is about the vets that died to insure Kaepernick and the kneeling players freedom.  Kaepernicks income allows him a level of safety and security that even police officers in inner cities don’t always have the luxury to enjoy.

Football players don’t like it when they get “arm chair quarterbacked” or “Monday morning quarterbacked” by the talking heads on ESPN, why should they be pre-judging the police they have never known or met?Pre-judging is the start of prejudice, not the cure.  Maybe the NFL players should stand up, do their job with pride and take the politics out of work and volunteer their time to hit the road and educate inner city kids and connect with police officers to close the divide not open it.

Sent in by another Vet, joining the protest, and thankful there is still a little baseball left to watch.

Football isn’t really a Beach Street Sport, but this is one of the best letters we have seen – Ed.

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