Football is one of my favorite things about fall. It still amazes me how a game can unite people from all walks of life. But this weekend, a weekend filled with NFL protests was different.
Sadly, rather than pulling us together, those protests seem to have torn us apart. Torn us apart and created some uncomfortable conversations with our kids.
What do you say to your kids when players are kneeling during the national anthem? What do you say to your kids when the President of the United States is calling the players who participated in those NFL protests “sons of bitches?” What do you say to your kids when people are unfriending each other because of their varying views?
Before you say anything, you’ve got to figure out where you stand. And that has been a tough one for me. But, I’ve thought about it a lot and can finally verbalize my stance, one you may, or may not agree with.
My Stance on the NFL Protests
One of the great things about the United States of America is the first amendment of our great Constitution. That first amendment provides us with with our right to Free Speech. A freedom we take for granted. A freedom that is tested regularly and controversially.
That First Amendment right of ours means at times people will express opinions you don’t like…and that should be okay
That First Amendment right of ours means at times people will express those opinions in ways you don’t like….and that should be okay.
That First Amendment right of ours means at times people will disagree with you, and with each other…and that should be okay.
Quite simply, in my view, the NFL protests are simply an expression of free speech. Nothing more.
Some say they are unpatriotic. Some say they are disrespectful to the military or to the President.
I completely disagree. While I agree 100% that honoring our great nation and the freedoms it affords is my duty as an American, that flag doesn’t represent just the military, it represents much, much more. It represents all of the freedoms our great nation affords us.
Including our right to “disrespect it.”
talking with my kids
So, when my kids ask those uncomfortable questions about why their favorite NFL player is participating in the protesting, this is what I say.
We are blessed to have been born in the United States of America, a country that provides us freedoms not found equally around the world. Our flag represents this country and those freedoms, so we stand and honor it as a sign of respect. But, that flag also provides us with the freedom to disagree. Those who are choosing to kneel, sit, lock arms and whatever else, are doing so as a peaceful protest, not out of disrespect for our great nation.
That’s not to say I agree with what they are doing I don’. But to me, it’s bigger than that. Those NFL protests, that very flag that they are “disrespecting” provides them with the rights to do just that.
THAT’S what makes America great.