What This Momma Will Say To Her Kids About the NFL Protests

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.


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7 Responses

  1. Summer says:

    Hey I am not sure if you got my last comment…my internet crapped out. I live in a very rural area and it does that sometimes! I just wanted to say that this was a great post. This issue has begun to seep into our schools. Yesterday, my daughter came home and said that kids were refusing to stand and say the pledge. I pretty much said the same thing you did regarding the issue. As a veteran myself, this is the freedom that we have fought for and continue to do so. Do I agree with the protest? No, but that is a whole ‘nother conversation.

  2. Gwendolyn says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the NFL protest that occurred this past weekend. I agree that the flag represents all of those freedoms our founding fathers fought for to build this great nation. The NFL has the freedom to peacefully protest. While everyone may not agree with the actions of the NFL, we can agree to disagree. It will be interesting to see what else comes about from this controversial event.

  3. Erin says:

    Kudos to you for addressing this and prepping yourself for difficult convos with your kiddos! These days, it seems there’s something new every time we turn around!

  4. katriza says:

    It’s great that you’re trying to get ahead of this so your kids can understand what’s going on 🙂

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