Last year I boycotted the NFL. Didn’t watch a single game, not even the Super Bowl. Last week I watched 30 minutes, maybe, of the NFL. It wasn’t until I turned the news on Sunday that I realized what went down with the flag and national anthem this week.
I love football, but far more than that, I love the United States. To me, the flag and national anthem are not a team’s fight song played by the band. They are symbols of freedom, sacrifice, a dream, a hope, an idea that people have God given rights in freedom. Free, though, is never free. Freedom costs dearly, for the price is measured in blood.
Under a guise of unity, people celebrate diversity. Yet, diversity divides, unity guides. The united in the “United” States is the strength of our nation. The flag and national anthem are its crowning jewels. Some would call this narrow minded, old fashioned, maybe even out of touch, but I believe the flag and national anthem are to be honored, respected, even revered. It represents us a people, a land, a nation where we believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The NFL doesn’t get it. Many players, coaches and owners esteem themselves far more highly than others and tend toward egotism, self-serving, self-worshipping personas who think of themselves more as gods than mortal men. There’s an old adage in sports: never read your own press clippings lest you become heady and think you’re super special. Yet, they read. Their egos need press clippings and video clips like cocaine addicts need snort rows. But they are simply players, and as a reminder, I LOVE football, but they are just football players paid to play a game.
In years gone by, they used to be heroes and role models. Not anymore. Now the National Football League is more aptly described as the National Felons League, or after yesterday, the National Fools League.
Unity isn’t achieved by locking arms and kneeling during the national anthem. You don’t gain influence or respect by disrespecting the honorable sacrifice of others. These entertainers enjoy huge paychecks for being able to catch a football and tackling a man to the ground. Yet in the grand scheme of things, what good does that do?
They’re not heroes. They’re not role models. They’re not warriors.
Warriors are 19-Year-old Army privates with pimples who tote guns with sweaty palms and dry mouths in Iraq. Heroes are injured service men battling to walk again after they were hit with an IED. Respect goes to the men and women who wear firefighter red, police blue, paramedic white and military camo.
I applaud, admire and listen to these folks, for they are truly role models! They believe in the flag. They stand, not sit, kneel or hide in a locker room, they stand when the national anthem is played. They salute, or place their hand over their heart, in honor of freedom and sacrifices made for that cause.
Being rich or great at a sport is of no value if you are poor in character and live in poverty toward what really matters. As of yesterday, I believe most NFL players, coaches and owners are rich in ego and cash, but poor in character and understanding of what truly makes life rich.
At best, they don’t know the proper time or place to make a protest. And the proper time is NOT during the flag raising and playing of the national anthem!
I’ve enjoyed you for a long, long time NFL. We’ve made some good memories. I just can’t do it anymore.
So good bye, NFL. It’s been a year anyways, so I won’t miss you. Besides, college football is on Saturday, and in Texas, there’s always Friday nights. Don’t bother standing, I’ll just let myself out the door.