I haven’t blogged much lately: I’ve been working on RaidTracker 4.0/ScheduleTrack 4.0. However, a topic came to me that would be of note. The most popular sport, the NFL, has been mired in controversies. The biggest one is having players take a knee during the National Anthem. The NFL “fixed” this controversy by having players stand on the sidelines or sit in the locker room. Naturally some players are upset, and some are unhappy about the move. However, let’s look at this from another perspective.
First of all, the fact that freedom is being restricted is nonsense. The players do not have to choose to be professional football players. From the fan point of view, this is also not restrictive for two reasons. The first is that no one forced the fan to buy the ticket. One can watch the game on TV without any qualms. The second is that at every sporting event I’ve been to, apart from some recreational games, everyone is asked to stand for the national anthem. However, those with disabilities who do not stand are viewed as exceptions (as has been those with disabilities under the ADA). Those who are not Americans choose not to stand and/or place their hand on the heart, and get little objections. Then there are other sports who have teams and play in different countries (Yeah, Canada, I’m looking at you.) This includes standing when “O Canada” or other country national anthems are played. There are players who don’t even have American citizenship, yet they stand for our national anthem when played. If you want respect for the country, please learn to show it yourself. Freedoms here as in free speech (not in free beer) means that one has to accept the consequences for being a jerk.
Secondly, the knee was meant to protest against the racism exerted against certain police departments. In an ideal world, the dreams of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. about equality would be a reality. However, even today, there are people who let ignorance rule about feelings toward who’s right. That does not make it right to show disrespect toward the country on a national stage. There are various ways to protest: one can boycott the offender, such as choosing to donate money to other organizations instead of the affected police departments. Another way is to picket in front of an organization like a peaceful demonstration. I never promote violence as an option. But what about Rosa Parks and the bus? Well, even the bus company even knew the ordinances and broke them with that context. That was also a protest, called a sit-in, which was common in an earlier time. It had more of an effect to rule out injustices with a current system that taking a knee on a national anthem could not do.
In short, while anyone can go ahead and issue a knee, or burn the flag, don’t cry about the consequences. There are far better alternatives to dealing with issues than acting like a baby and knee. There are people in other countries that would love to have the freedom Americans have in voicing their displeasure. There is a difference between respect, and unprofessionalism, and this is where one needs to protest in the right manner.