Its been a while for me. I’m not one of those bloggers or writers who posts everyday out of necessity. Something from within has to motivate me to sit in front of my computer and attempt to shed light on a subject, inspire people to be their best selves, or honestly just vent my frustrations. In this post, I will attempt to do all of the above.
Here, we find ourselves in the midst of what seems to be a perpetual shit storm, with two of the most polarizing presidential candidates about to banter back and forth on who can run the country into the ground quicker, an American city called Chicago that has seen more murder than the war in Iraq, two recent police shootings and killings of unarmed black men to add to the, at least 194 black people who have been killed by those supposedly sworn to protect and serve them in 2016 alone (According to the Huffington Post)!
Oh, and let us not forget, America’s new favorite pastime having the spot light stolen from it by some men who have decided to use their platforms for something in which they believe.
I woke up this morning to an article on yahoo sports sports.yahoo.com/…/yahoo-poll-half-of-americans-oppose-kaepernicks-protest-154103124 , stating that 44% of Americans would completely stop watching NFL Football if the protests continue; protests which, by the way, are peaceful and seem to exercise the very principals upon which this country was “supposedly” built. First, let me make this clear; I am not a huge fan of the NFL in general. This coming from a guy who started playing football at age 7 and played it on a fairly high level. I just do not believe that the rewards of playing the sport as it pertains to the players, outweigh the inherent risks associated with it. I also believe that the majority of the players in the NFL are only playing the game because they saw it and continue to see it as their ONLY way to lift their families out of poverty. I believe that had these young men been presented with a better alternative for getting their family above the poverty line, they would have chosen door number 2.
I digress. The NFL has long had a history of certain, shall we say, immoral behavior. This is a league that has had its players and owners under investigation for drugs, gambling, domestic violence, and murder. Meanwhile, in the midst of domestic violence cases like the ones we saw with former Baltimore Raven’s running back Ray Rice and former Carolina Panther and Dallas Cowboy Greg Hardy, fans continued to watch and support the sport. Not only, did they continue to watch but viewership and sponsorship actually grew. In-spite of the unhealthy behavior of these men and the negative impact that it had on their families and communities, people still showed up to the games in record numbers, patronized sports bars in droves, and upgraded their cable packages in order to not miss a second of the action. Now, that some of these men have decided to do something positive and bring awareness to an issue that is paramount to the existence of the black community (specifically black males), now all of the sudden these same people say that they will refuse to watch it because they don’t agree with these silent and peaceful protests. Really America?
Here is the issue I have. You can’t pick and choose which of these American principals you stand for. You can’t pick apart the constitution to fit into your neat little box. What we are confronted with is a situation where we are forced to look at ourselves in the mirror and ask, “Am I only interested in the things that affect me as a person and as an American citizen?” ,or “Am I interested in preserving the moral and social fabric of this country in a way that protects and respects all of its citizens?”; “Do I have the ability, to say, ‘Although, I am not directly being impacted by this particular situation, I can respect, pray for, and support those who are’?” ; “Would I rather that this community just suffer in silence so I can have my entertainment uninterrupted?”
Is it shame on them for “taking away” from the sporting event or is it shame on us for putting our entertainment above basic human rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?
When you force someone to look at themselves and they don’t like what they see, they are left with one of two options; lash out at you for showing them that image of themselves or change what they don’t like. The fans who say they will stop watching if the protests continue and who are sending death threats to these men, are choosing to exercise option number 1 because they don’t like what they see in the mirror. I believe that the goal of these NFL players and other movements is to get America to change what they see in that mirror. If invading your homes through the vehicle of the NFL is what it takes to do it, then I’m all for it!
Be Well Always, In ALL Ways
Instagram: @JustinJamar Twitter: @OneJustinJamar