President’s Message – October 2017
Free speech or freedom to be a whiny, spoiled brat? Taking a knee or other forms of protesting the National Anthem at football games is a classic example of stupid is as stupid does.
Let me be perfectly clear: I totally understand that there are parts of this country in which it is harder, and in some cases dangerous, to be a black American. Although this country has come so very far in its quest to be a land of color-blind citizens, we have not completely accomplished the goal. We are not perfect.
There is no question there have been black men in America who died for no legitimate reason. No one should ever lose their life just because they are a person of color. Any color.
There is no justification for injustice against any person simply because of their skin color, religion, gender, or any other circumstance of birth. Intolerance, unfair treatment under the law, or violence against a person or group of people based on bigotry is not to be tolerated. End. Of. Story.
I’m not forgetting that this beloved country of mine once held that black people were only worth “3/5ths” of other people and they lived torturous lives of bondage. I know that even after slavery was abolished (by Republicans) that society continued to forget that “all men are created equally” . It’s a part of our past that makes me ashamed but I won’t forget that history; it’s what ensures that we will not repeat our mistakes.
It bears remembering that not every police shooting is justified, either. There have been too many officers shot and killed simply for being a cop, and some of those shooters were black.
Protesting the National Anthem is just plain stupid because it doesn’t even come close to relating to the issues under protest. The “Star Spangled Banner” was written during the War of 1812 when we were at war with the British. How does this anthem represent racial intolerance? This song became the anthem of a country that made it possible for grown men (and women) to escape poverty and earn millions of dollars a year playing games; games that ordinary people shell out lots of money to go see. Money that supports their outrageous salaries and the outrageous profits of team owners.
Every knee taken is a slap in the face of men and women of all races who have returned home in caskets draped in the American Flag. People who made the ultimate sacrifice so that whiny, overpaid athletes continue to have the right to protest, even in stupid ways.
Race relations in America can be better; they should be better. I work hard each and every day to live my life in a way that I feel is the true representation of America: that all men (and women) are created equal and are endowed with the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The fact is that most Americans are exactly the same.
Every time you protest American symbols you are protesting against me, personally, because you are painting this country with the broad brush of racism. That offends me, deeply. So deeply that I may very well stop supporting you with my hard-earned dollars, and it seems I am not the only one with this thought. Where will you be if no one buys tickets or tunes in? Will you still have a platform if you no longer have an audience? I suspect that they only color that you will truly care about, when all is said and done, is green.
Players and owners: use the celebrity that comes with football to make a real difference in people’s lives. Leave your mansions and go to communities where racial violence exists and start a dialog. Go out to the mean streets and bring neighborhoods and police departments together. Spend time in schools and talk to kids about respect for all humans regardless of race. Stop taking a knee and actually do something meaningful that improves America. Stop being stupid.