Week 3 was Eventful, Hopefully it has an Impact Outside of Football

Rico Lavelle hold’s his fist in the air while taking a knee after signing the national anthem at the Lions-Falcons game.

On Friday, your President Donald Trump unleashed a very loaded attack on those who have decided to protest during the national anthem. NFL players took offense to the attack; it’s main statement being,“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”. That right there, is a heavy statement whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. It sounded a lot like a “Stay in your place boy” type of statement, and in a league where seventy percent of the players are black that type of comment is definitely unacceptable, and should be met with some form of pushback.

That response was seen all day Sunday throughout the stadiums of the NFL. The demonstrations were a tremendous display of unity from players and staff. I give all the credit in the world to those who took a knee for the first time, as well as those who stood while also showing support to their kneeling teammates.

Some team owners, who’ve rightfully been bashed recently, went out and stood with their players. Three teams decided to stay in the locker room all together, which I personally think is the best move because the national anthem was never even televised before games until it was paid for as advertising starting in 2009 by the Department of Defense. During the demonstrations, a lot of those in attendance who were upset with the “disrespect” decided that they would boo at men exercising their rights during the national anthem.

Even though the demonstrations throughout the games were a step in the right direction, they were taken for the wrong reason. This whole situation has become about the flag and the anthem, a diversion from what Colin Kaepernick was originally trying to draw attention to with his protest. The conversations that the protest was supposed to spark were meant to be about the injustices that black people face in America, but have now shifted towards patriotism. The demonstrations today were done in response to the Trump’s comments, again, shifting away from the actual problem. Many of the players decided to take a stand once they were attacked, but didn't show the same dedication before this instance. A lot of the demonstration felt misguided because it was directed at the president’s comments and not what Kaepernick intended. It also definitely felt like a publicity stunt when owners and players like Tom Brady who actively supported Trump came out and participated. If the owners actually cared to show solidarity with their players and their communities Kap would’ve had a job a long time ago.

Colin Kaepernick never protested against the flag, country, or military. Rosa Parks never protested the transportation system, and the sit-ins were never about the food the counters served. All three had a larger issue they were trying to address, and it’s amazing that these protests are still met with confusion even when their purpose is plainly stated. It’s understandable that viewers want to get away from social issues when enjoying a sporting event, but a lot of the greatest athletes on the planet are black and unfortunately they and their communities don’t have that luxury.