I have the good fortune of working with some people I really respect. One of those is a retired NFL player who now does sales and marketing. He has introduced me to several other former players, all of whom are now in business for themselves in one form or another, but that is a story for another day.
The interesting thing that seems to hold true, almost to a man, is the question of these protests going on around the league is that they view them as a massive distraction.
At best I have been told some things that say they (the protestors) made their point, now let’s move on. At worst it has been that these guys are going to screw up the future of the league thanks to the dip in ratings and the protests now going on with people boycotting the league on both sides of the discussion.
These things have made me think. Not about the NFL, but about what the NFLs actions say about us as a nation.
There is one side that wants to exercise their freedom of speech, and as an army vet, I say, more power to you. I won’t do it, but you choose what works for you.
On another side, there are people saying “if you don’t stop it you are fired.” I get that also. If I am a team owner and you want to do something while at work I disagree with, that ruins the value of my product, it is my right to fire you.
On another side there are those saying I won’t tune in while these protests are going on because those guys are just babies…This is a free country and we should celebrate those that gave us that freedom and stand up and respect the flag. Ok, despite the blatant contradictions about freedom and do what I tell you in this crowd, I totally respect their right to change the channel. I don’t like it when they yell at me to do the same thing, but hey, again…their right, and my right to walk away and ignore them.
Then there is the protest. It has transformed from something I understood to something I don’t. Is there police brutality? Yes. Is it every single cop on the street…hell no.
But we are so divided as a nation there is no more grey area, it is all black and white.
Those that are anti-protestors and taking a knee during the anthem seem to indicate the police can do no wrong, and we should respect them, and the veterans no matter what…I disagree with that.
There are the protestors, and now some of the people behind them are now painting all police with a broad brush and saying they are all wrong and we should randomly shoot, kill, be against, or whatever those there to protect us….I disagree with that.
I think it says a lot as a nation that those of us that think both sides are wrong are barely allowed to speak, for when we do both sides shout at us about freedoms and how if we disagree with their point, and their side we are stupid and need to get on board now.
We need to be less divided as a nation, and I’d like to see that protest take place at some point. But in order for that protest to happen the two sides would have to agree on something and that doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon.