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Friday, July 27, 2018

The National Football League and the "flag" controversy


Jerry Jones and son, team vice president Steven Jones, have made themselves clear.  Players are expected to put aside their feelings regarding police brutality, social injustice and racial equality.  When they come to “work” to entertain football fans and television viewers, all players are expected to put their feelings in a box in the locker room and come out to the field as if “all is well” in the real world. The youngster Ezekiel Elliott and his views on standing in unity just underscore that many of the new generation of black people have no real understanding of the journey of black people in this country.  It's a fact and it's a shame.

The history of standing for the anthem dates back to traditions established for military personnel before the year 1900.  Over the years the tradition/ritual has cascaded down to the general public at sporting events.  The fact is there is no need to play the anthem at sporting events.  It was pushed upon us quietly and now has become a ritual that we blindly just follow.  Playing the anthem has now evolved through a careful campaign as being a way to show support for the nation and has been construed now as support for veterans, especially those who have given their lives.  Of course when someone ties in support for deceased veterans it becomes an emotional issue.  Who would dare disrespect a military veteran who died “for the country”?  It was a brilliant move to relate standing for the national anthem with support for those who died in military conflicts. 

So instead of playing the national anthem why isn’t there some type of common prayer done before sporting events?  Or a moment of silence where people can contemplate emotional issues?  Maybe someone wants to reflect on the impact of cancer on their loved ones.  The impact of the opioid crisis.  A time for reflection and quiet prayer by parents and students that they will not be impacted by school shootings.  Time for black people to reflect on how ancestors were killed in race riots and no one held accountable for the murders.  Time to ensure your Native American costume is in order so you can make ridicule of a culture annihilated by your ancestors.

We could reflect on and do so much in those minutes that are now used to continue a tradition we follow as if we are all Nazis in the Germany of Adolph Hitler.  Stand, put your hand over your heart, take off your hat, and sing dammit!  40,000 plus captive robots.

Me.  At basketball and baseball games I just stand silently and think of how in these United States of America Black people were; kept in slavery for hundreds of years; families not allowed to follow natural patterns of growth; men, women, and children lynched; people denied equal treatment based solely on the color of their skin and perpetuated stereotypes; and of how there is little concern when unarmed black people are killed by the armed police?

Jerry and Steven Jones say forget all about that!  Players, put your toe on the line and let’s play this game!  It’s all about control.  What I can make you do by constructing rules, traditions and rituals.
I’ve stopped watching NFL football and purchasing any items sponsored by the NFL.  I’ll try to ensure I find out what companies are sponsoring the NFL and stop feeding my money to those companies.

There are different types of slavery.  Mindless slavery to rituals and traditions is just one form.