BHHS Today

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Public sports games are not the time for political statements

Red. White. Blue.

When I think of those colors, I think of a nation brought together by believing that they could beat all odds. A melting pot of different cultures and upbringings that live together in harmony. There is no irony in the name “United States of America.”

Therefore, we should not have to purposely divide our nation nor pressure a change to come where it is not necessary. Kneeling for the national anthem has undoubtedly caused the country to diverge from the one principle that America was built onーindivisible unity.

Songs, sports, politics, social media. You name it, the three-month long protest has made its way on it.

The idea behind the kneeling is AMAZING. The execution is not. A public sports game is not the best time to address cultural flaws. Fans covered in face paint and team pride don’t buy tickets to talk openly at racial equality. At least honestly.

As a result, I believe that athletes, regardless of the level of profession, should stand for national anthem.

Fans don’t go to games to see political statements; That’s what CNN or your local news station is for. Fans come to see athletes PLAY, families watching the NFL from their couch want to see their favorite athletes PLAY.

Skimming through sports channels and websites, I see that the NFL is gaining more TV time, however, some of its true fans seem to tuning out.

“I may not be the biggest impact—like I’m just turning off my TV,” said Matthew Cruz, a Michigan stationed military officer and football fan, in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “They get millions of views—but I would never sit, I don’t care who you are.”

The battle over kneeling has quickly transformed in a verbal fight, morphing into an “Athlete’s vs. Trump” type of dispute. This is the last type of conflict we need in this country. This overarching focus made by the protests, which were made in a civil manner, soon turned into one of aggression and political resentment still harbored from the past presidential election.

More importantly, the bigger picture itself is not being resolved. People are too busy trying to “look” politically and racially accepting, rather than attacking the issue directly. The idea of kneeling that shifts the focus off of disbanding racial equality and more on the craving for publicity.

“In the end, my opinion is that this football player took attention away from the actual problem and put the spotlight on himself,” said Nick Stefanovic, a Marine Corps infantry veteran who deployed twice to Afghanistan, in an interview with Business Insider. “If you notice, nobody is talking about racial inequality right now. They are all focused on whether his protest was right or wrong.”

During the hardest times America has fought through, how were we able to come together? Patriotism. That concept is the structure of our nation. Unity and America’s ability strive as an independent, strong nation is the entire reason why the National Anthem was written in the first place.

“I just feel so strongly that the act of recognizing the flag is a salute to our country and all of the people that have sacrificed so that we can have the liberties we have,” said Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

If we don’t stand for the national anthem now, who’s to say that we will even say the anthem a year or two from now? That is going to turn into everything it was based upon? Does our history have any value anymoreーor is it simply just facts in a textbook?

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Public sports games are not the time for political statements