Today I want to speak about the National Football League, and the issues occurring in regards to the National Athem protests. This has been an ongoing event for the past few years, especially after the “leader” of this protest, Colin Kaepernick decided to start it. As a result, over the past couple of years, the players have been closely studied, and criticize for every movement they made during and before the National Anthem of an NFL game. This initially started after there has been a desire to stop gunning down unarmed black people, and to delete the many obvious creations that have been put in to prevent black people to do certain things all American people should be able to do. More specifically, I would like to talk about the backlash that many of the NFL players have faced from the fans and the owners as a result of the actions they have pursued. Houston Texans owner Robert C. McNair, referred to his teams players as “inmates” and many perceived that to be racist, as majority of the players on the team are black. He also was rumored to have said that he doesn’t want any players on his team that won’t stand for the National Anthem. While this isn’t thought of as racist per say, his comments regarding the inmates did not help the cause. Furthermore, the NFL commission, Roger Goddell has not made any intention to approve of these actions by the NFL players nor punish the Texans owner for saying what he has. In class we spoke about the groups that minorities have created in order to create a more equal society, and the NFL players have been doing exactly that. It is unfortunate that the NFL league, and the fans have been immune and unresponsive to what the players have been voicing their opinions of. Also, much of the players action have have resulted in death threats and other harmful events occurring in society. We all need to come together, and listen to what everyone has to say, instead creating such division because others have difficult point of view.
2 thoughts on “National Football League Anthem Protests”
I also wrote a blog post on the protests that have been taking place in the NFL. It is very disheartening to see the way that players are scrutinized for standing up for what they believe in. I played field hockey all throughout high school, and I considered my team and my coach like a second family. I could not even imagine what it would have been like to hear my coach to make such insensitive comments towards myself or other members of my team. Most players want to have a good relationship with their coach, but I imagine it would be harder to play for a person who sees you in a demeaning way. Being apart of a team also involves trust and being open to others views and standpoints.
It can become tricky to navigate the ways sports are talked about in American culture. People often essentialize the players, holding them up as tokens to demonstrate the success of a minority group. This is actually harmful, as it objectifies the players, rendering them as entertainment, and limits the success of an entire group of people to a particular domain. The rhetoric of the coach that you pointed out here is really interesting to me, as it seems to represent a view that the coach’s players were his property, a comment that echoes chattel slavery. I can’t imagine being part of a team where my coach’s myopic understanding of my history allowed him or her to refer to me in such a demeaning way.
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