I am really tired of this. What I am about to say may please some of you. It also may piss some of you off. To be honest, either way, I don’t give a $h!t. I am going to say it once, on my platform, and then I am done with it. Next week, it’s back to football.
I am absolutely sick of this controversy surrounding the National Anthem.
Last year the kickoff to the NFL season was on the 15th Anniversary of 9/11. The biggest story in the NFL was whether San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was going to kneel on a day in which so many Americans died in terrorist attacks. On that day, I used this platform, which our Editor-in-Chiefs Laddie Morse has so graciously given me, to write an article on how I felt about that day and that protest. If you care to, you can read that article here.
This isn’t that article. This is me saying “enough is enough.”
To be clear, I still feel the same way I felt when I wrote that first article, just over a year ago. If you didn’t take the time to click the link and read it, I’m not offended, but I will fill you in on exactly how I felt.
I have served this country in uniform as a member of the United States Air Force for 21 and a half years. I have been to countries most people can’t pronounce and seen things most people can’t fathom. I have been shot at, and shed blood, sweat and tears for this nation. After all those years, I realize one thing.
I go to work every day, I put on my uniform every day, I do what I have done every day for the past 7,845 days in order to give each of you the right to do what ever you want in regards to the National Anthem. If you chose to stand, stand. I will stand with you. If you choose to kneel, kneel. I don’t agree with you, but I support your right to do so, for whatever reason you are choosing to do it. Please don’t be disrespectful, nor disruptive to anyone else, and we don’t have a problem.
In the months since I wrote that first article, Kaepernick’s protest has gained speed. He started it to bring awareness to what he perceived as police brutality and racial inequality following the deaths of black males at the hands of law enforcement officers. Others joined in his protest. It found its way into Kansas City when Oakland, California native Marcus Peters joined in.
Over the past several weeks, I have seen some nasty comments on public boards regarding the Chiefs’ best defensive back. Some of you–I say you, speaking to the Chiefs fans at large, don’t take offense… want him benched, or worse… cut from the team. Some of the comments — I won’t include the collective you in this next statement — have called him racially charged names that I won’t repeat here and have suggested much worse fates that I thought were dead with the Confederate States of America more than 200 years ago.
Let me pause here and say I don’t agree with their protest. I think their view is slanted and based on half-truths and inaccurate facts. That’s beside the point. If they want to protest, it is the right I guarantee them every day by lacing up my boots and putting on my uniform.
Then, our president had to get involved. Let me be clear here, just so you know where I stand politically. I am a conservative who voted for Donald Trump. I don’t regret the decision. However, I don’t always agree with everything that he says.
That said, when he decided to get involved in the National Anthem debate this weekend, all “H-E-double hockey sticks” broke loose. During a rally in Alabama, Trump decided to push all his chips to the center of the table in regards to players kneeling during our nation’s anthem.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’” – President Donald J. Trump
If that wasn’t bad enough, Trump couldn’t quit, as he took to Twitter to follow up his assault on the NFL and its players who have chosen to use the Star Spangled Banner to voice their opinion.
If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2017
In response to the president’s comments, many players around the NFL chose to protest in different ways. Some teams, like the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks, remained in the locker room for the entire National Anthem, some players stood, some kneeled. Up until now, on the Chiefs only Peters chose to kneel, but today he had company on his sideline. Chris Jones, Chris Conley, Kareem Hunt, Travis Kelce and more decided to join him in his silent, peaceful protest.
Should we fire them all? Should we bench them? Isn’t this ridiculous?
In case you didn’t know, the three highest rated television shows last week were Thursday Night Football, Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football. People aren’t going to stop watching. What is the answer? Let me help!
If the media stopped reporting it, the players would stop doing it. Or at least we wouldn’t have to hear about it. If we forced everyone to stand, are we any better than North Korea? They make everyone stand there. Is that what we want?
The Kansas City Chiefs are the best team in football, but all anybody is going to talk about tomorrow is who sat, who stood and who didn’t come out of the locker room.
And therein lies the problem. This season should be about the Chiefs. But it’s not. This article should be about the Chiefs, but it’s not. So, this is the last time I am going to say this.
Shut up, stand up (or kneel, I really don’t care) but just play some football! And while you’re at it, keep winning. Thanks for reading, and Go Chiefs!
(This is where I get back to football…I promise!)
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