Op/Ed By Michael Vaughn –
There are so many angles from which to approach the story that I could deal with each element of it in every column I write, and still not cover everything.
However, what I continue to hope is that we can remember what this protest is, and what it isn’t.
People have become so emotional over this issue that it has become hard for folks remain logical.
According to supporters of these protests, the protests are about the injustices some African-Americans have faced at the hands of law enforcement.
However, in my humble opinion, the objective of the protests have been lost within the larger stage of NFL football games.
And, targeting the national anthem was a fool-hearty notion, that will prevent NFL players from having any real voice in their efforts.
This is because the NFL is not the entity which has been denying African-Americans their civil rights.
So, for players to use this stage as a platform was the completely wrong choice.
The larger reason, however, is that by protesting the national anthem, which is symbolic of our country (however bad we are), it repudiates the fact that these athletes are getting paid millions of dollars to play a game that elementary children play!
The last thought I will share about this subject (at least I hope it’s the last one) is about the public outcry following Vice President Michael Pence’s decision to leave the football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Indianapolis Colts.
Vice President Pence decided to leave the game after players on the 49ers decided to kneel (or not stand) during the national anthem.
It would be hypocritical for the same people who’ve argued that the players have the “right” to use the NFL stage for their protests to say it’s wrong for Michael Pence to do the same.
What is good for the goose, is good for the gander!
But, what is happening in our country is that only those who harbor liberal opinions and views are being allowed to express them.
This has resulted in those who hold a biblical or more conservative worldview being vilified if they express opposing opinions and viewpoints.
And one of the player’s reactions to Mike Pence’s actions almost made me fall out of my chair.
One of the 49ers said Vice President Pence walking out of the game was the epitome of oppression!
This is a young man (although even if he were old, it still wouldn’t make any sense) who is making more than $5 million dollars per year!
He should be smarter than to utter such a foolish sentiment.
He need to only look back into history of African-Americans to really understand what oppression truly looks like.
As a result, when someone says they are “oppressed” but is able to go play the game he or she loves, share his or her concerns on a national platform, and then go home to what I believe would be a place of comfort, I believe that is someone who has no clue about what true oppression really is.
That is someone who has jumped on a band wagon, and someone who has lost his way.
African-Americans have been humiliated, beaten, killed, taken away from their families, and given no names (less more voices) in the battle against true oppression.
But, at the end of the day, there will be folks who agree with what the players are doing, and there will be folks like me, who are in disagreement with what the players are doing.
However, when someone starts equating opposition to these protests with what happened in the civil rights movement, in my opinion they have gone off the rails, and everything else they say then becomes completely irrelevant and ridiculous.
I am now done with subject, but I am still concerned that players will notice, after the fact, how they, like rioters, have not been able to hurt the people who they believe have hurt them, and, instead, they will have actually hurt themselves.
Time will tell!
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