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Stand Up

Stand Up

You can probably tell by the title where I’m going with this. It’s been difficult in this past couple of weeks to turn on any broadcast, whether TV or radio, and not hear something about the protest by NFL players against our flag, country and/or the National Anthem. It’s been so muddled by all the different reasons expressed that it’s hard to tell what the protest is all about.

One says it’s because people of color are mistreated by police. Another says it’s in solidarity for the right to protest, another says it’s because the team is going to support one another so they all do the same thing and yet another says they are protesting our President.

It started more than a year ago and I want to go on record to say I’m pretty tired of it. The NFL players, with many of the team owners’ blessings, have hijacked the game to make it into a political statement that has no place on the field of contest where millions of fans pay for the right to watch. Not only do we pay steep, steep prices for tickets, we also pay big to buy NFL merchandise so we can wear the numbers of our favorite players.

We come to the stadium as fans of the game or turn on the TV to watch football, not to see a protest; and especially not to see a bunch of millionaires disrespect Old Glory.

I believe these players who have a beef have the right to protest, but not on the dime of the fans. If their message is so important, they certainly have enough money to pool together to fund a campaign that will get their point across in a way we can understand. It would be more successful than what we see happening now.

For me, any point they are trying to make is lost because I can’t get past the disrespect shown toward our country and our flag.

I know some are mad about our President making remarks against the NFL demonstrators, and frankly, I wish the President would be more……..presidential in the things he says. But that is not a good reason for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Baltimore Ravens to go to London for a game and show disrespect to our National Anthem “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and then stand and respect Britain’s National Anthem “God Save the Queen.”

I think in doing this to the flag, the NFL players are taking on the very people who follow them and root for them and make them famous. And I think the players will lose. I know I’m not going to be spending any money on NFL tickets or merchandise until this stops. I know that my allegiance is to a few players who’ve distinguished themselves as the kind of men I want my grandchildren to know about. As far as I’m concerned, you can forget about the rest.

Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, a former Army Ranger, was the only Steeler to break from the team’s decision to remain in the locker room during the National Anthem.

I do see that Americans who are not white have had to struggle at the hands of oppressive bosses and sometimes an oppressive government. I’m not saying the situation is corrected because I still believe there is work to do in this area. But I don’t believe every cop in America gets up each morning and intends to go out and hunt people of color.

In my humble opinion, the problem that divides the country on race is not going to heal until we turn to God and let His Spirit rule. But that’s just me.

So, I’ve taken your time for my little rant here. I don’t protest because I don’t think a protest is productive. I’m a child of the 1960’s and I didn’t participate in any of those protests either.

I hope the highly paid professional athletes will continue their journey to try to effect the changes they want and I hope this is not just a passing fancy (even though I suspect it is).

But it’s my wish that their complaints and protests will find another venue. It’s disgusting to me to see the flag and our National Anthem disrespected. Please take the politics out of the sporting events and let us go back to being fans of the game.

I can’t leave you without something from social media on this issue and, believe me, there is PLENTY out there. I’m just going to share the last paragraph of a lengthy message written by a combat veteran. He talked about the history of our country and the price men and women have paid to get us to the point where we can protest and speak out about disturbing matters such as racism and corruption. And he mentions that he feels betrayed after serving to have people publicly demonstrate against the flag.

“If you really feel the need to take a knee, come with me to church on Sunday and we’ll both kneel before Almighty God. We’ll thank Him for preserving this country for as long as He has. We’ll beg forgiveness for our ingratitude for all He has provided us. We’ll appeal to Him for understanding and wisdom. We’ll pray for liberty and justice for all… because He is the one who provides those things. And there will be no protest. There will only be gratitude for His provision and a plea for His continued grace and mercy on the land of the free and the home of the brave. It goes like this… GOD BLESS AMERICA!”

Joyce Godwin |

View Comments (2)
  • Interesting thoughts. I think that kneeling is a tiny action compared to what people could be doing. I do not think these athletes intend to disrespect the flag or our nation. I too wince at them sometimes, but I try to place myself in their shoes and think about how they perceive the injustices around them. Check out my latest post on this situation and the rest of my political vibes I would greatly appreciate a follow if you’re interested and I would love to respond to comments

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