When I was in high school we all wanted to do things to make the world better. We wanted to protest, demonstrate and display to make the point that needed to be made. Oh, it was heady stuff. And then several wise mentors pointed out that symbolism, demonstrations, protests accomplished nothing. If we wanted to change something we needed to get involved and actually do it. One teacher asked, “After you have put on your little show, will anything be different?” One coach, in typical coach-speak, said “Grow up kid.” The principal said, “Well, you’re right, you’re free to express yourself, but your expression has consequences, and I can’t shield you from them.” (The principal was not going to punish us for our expression, but he was going to punish us, he gently reminded us, for skipping class and disrupting normal school activity.) Somehow we never quite got the job done when it came to what we wanted to do. But there was a valuable lesson learned and among my classmates are people of enormous accomplishment that have helped issue in great change in our society. They grew up, they studied hard, they went to work and they have contributed – doing more to make the world better than our little high school sit-in would have ever accomplished.
Yes, NFL players are free to express themselves, but there are consequences – or at least there should be. Heck the lower ratings yesterday alone should be enough to force the owners hand. Yes, the President is free to express his opinion about the mess, but the political consequences are quite obvious – and this is such a petty thing to sacrifice political capital upon. He, more than any individual in the nation has the actual power to do something and he chooses to be a wise guy. That makes no sense to me. This whole thing is childish – driven more by a desire for attention than a sincere effort to actually make things better. That’s a hell of an accusation – how do I know? Simple, with the perspective of years I now understand what I was really up to in high school – sure I cared about making things better, but what I really wanted was to be the center of attention. And besides, a demonstration was so much more fun than growing up, getting a job and getting busy. You know, being an adult.
So, Colin Kaepernick – you’re looking for work. Why not start a foundation to benefit the victims of unjust police shootings? All your buddies that are taking the knee can be the first ones to pony up cash and volunteer their time. You’d capture a lot of press if you did it right. Mr President, you need to remember there are some issues that the office should take a pass on.
What’s really amazing to me is I don’t think either side has come to terms with the fact that Donald J Trump is POTUS. So much of what is happening right now, not just in the NFL but nationwide, strikes me as people throwing a tantrum because the election did not come out as they expected/wanted. Honestly, the line between a political demonstration and a kid squatting the grocery store wailing because Mom won’t get the cereal they want is a mighty thin one at times. And the president sometimes reminds me of the kid that thought he should be in charge and when he miraculously got there, still a kid, found out it’s a lot more difficult than he expected and therefore strains at the bit of the job. I deeply understand the desire, but there are some jobs that cannot be left at the office. Trying to leave it at the office just looks like a different kind of tantrum.
End of rant.