Dear NFL, it’s time to have a Dr. Phil moment. “How’s that working for you?” We’ve spent so much time and energy fighting over ‘how’ this important message gets made. Players boycotting the anthem. Fans boycotting the games. Owners supporting and openly standing against the ‘how’ – on a very basic right to protest. Give the players a time and place to make this statement.
The issue has never been that you don’t stand against racism or police brutality. The issue was always the ‘how’.
Colin Kaepernick wasn’t wrong that football games are a far reaching mechanism to get the word out. He wasn’t wrong to risk his career defending a desire to make this country better for all.
The misstep was in the ‘how’ and YOU have the power to not only bring us together but to show us you believe in the message.
Kneeling during the anthem will never stop offending certain groups such as veterans. They too have a valid point, paid for by the blood of their fellow veterans. It’s not okay to dismiss their sacrifice, but until the anthem is for all of us – it’s true meaning is lost.
What if the NFL sponsored the protest – provided a time and place? What if before we sing the anthem, we show all Americans that the anthem is for them. Allow players to meet at the center of the field, perhaps wearing black hats. Both teams, all races coming together for a minute of silence on their knees.
Toss out fans who are disrespectful or unsupportive. Putting a stop to racism is that important. Let’s find our solidarity.
When the minute of silence is over, let the players stand united for one country. The land of the free and the home of the brave. Sing the anthem that should be an anthem for all of us.
Respect the message Colin was trying to make while respecting the sacrifices of those who fought for his right to say his message, and his right to protest. It’s an important message.
Maybe if we look at ‘how’ we say our words as well as how important the words are, we can say even more. The ‘how’ speaks volumes by itself.
Let’s end the division and fight for our unity. Let’s kneel together for an America that is better for us all. MLB, NBA, NHL feel free to join the movement.
Maybe this idea still needs to be refined. It’s a great jumping off point. Help us stop fighting over a message we agree upon!
Vicki L. Pugliese
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