Sunday, August 27, 2017

Dave's take: standing up

I have to say that I find it weird the way Colin Kaepernick has been essentially blackballed from the NFL. He is an above average QB (albeit with a limited skill set), but has been to a SuperBowl, which is something most QBs can only dream about.

And yet, he's not on an NFL roster.  Sure, teams are reluctant to draw negative attention on what would surely amount to a backup player.  But the bigger problem is that he essentially brought it on himself.

As I've said in the past, I don't have an issue with a player taking a stand against whatever they want.  But Colin made two mistakes: (1) he didn't back up his stance with demonstrable actions (yes, he does give to charity, and has quietly support some of his views) - like actually voting, or working to get people engaged as anything more than a curiosity.  Had he "walked the walk" and actually demonstrated that using his platform FOR something, he would probably have fared better.  And (2) he kept adding more into his repertoire that brought odd attention - like the Che shirt, and the pig socks.  Individually, those things might have drawn a yawn, but in the frame of him being a wanna-be-social activist, it came off as a pattern of ... obnoxious behavior. Personally, I think he was well-intentioned, but it wasn't handled right.

And so he's not in the NFL.

Meanwhile, the protests for social justice continue, with more players taking a seat, taking a knee, or raising a fist.  We are in what might be the most politically charged environment we've had in this country in more than 150 years.  So everyone has an opinion about whether this is right, wrong, or indifferent.

I've heard several pundits say the NFL is in a no-win situation.  People will (over)react if it continues,  or if the NFL or owners decide to put a stop to it.

Frankly, I see one option for the NFL: stop playing the anthem before games.  I've talked about this before, but there is no real history here.  Around WW2 the tradition of playing the anthem started as a means of patriotism - but is there really  a need to have it at games?  Its tradition, sure, but why keep it there if it becomes a rallying point - and stops the focus from being on the game.

Or, barring that, change the order, so the players are in the tunnel when the anthem is played, so we don't see them.  And then go through introductions and what not.

In short, remove the distraction and play the game.

That's my two cents for today.
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5 comments

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If the Phins have even one player not stand for the anthem this year, I won't buy another ticket or watch them any more. If the league cancels the national anthem, I won't buy any tickets or watch any games any more. Your idea is a slap in the face to the military, the country, veterans like myself, and a tradition that is more than 80 years old. I couldn't disagree with you more.

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Athletes, actors and artists not only have a right to stand up for a cause they feel is important to them, they also have a responsibility to use their platforms to assist in social changes.

CK is the perfect example of good idea, wrong execution. I understand, that as an African-American, he felt compelled to call more attention to race relations in the US. Certain venues are perfectly suited and accepted for political stands and announcements.

Concerts are perfect examples. Musicians have for decades use the stage to call attention to a cause and that is universally accepted location for such.

Never do you find an actor break from the script to make a political statement during a play. The play itself may make a statement or the cast may stop at the curtain call and speak to the audience about a current issue.

Sports is a different story. Players can use their celebrity to good use but not in the actual arena. It just is not universally accepted other than wearing something on your uniform to support a cause. Fans go to sporting events to get away from their problems and daily dull drums, not to engage in political or social issues.

I believe CK would have been better served to organize a great number of African-American athletes from all sports to speak to the media in their locker rooms after games about race relations.

Lets face it, a bigot is a bigot and will be a bigot no matter how hard you try to change them. Deep seeded bias is hard to remove. Change could be and will be endorsed by younger generations as more and more youth become exposed to those of different cultures. The old adage you cannot teach an old dog a new trick is still pretty prevalent.

Don't forget about the 1960's Dave. That was the most politically charged decade in our history. Families were pitted against each other about Civil Rights in the South. the Vietnam War, Women's rights and even Gay rights started with the Stonewall Riot in NYC in 1969. There were riots in every major city and even the 1968 Democratic Convention turned into a war zone. All across the country, National Guards were deployed at one time or another.

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Carl you might very well be right about the 60s. Thanks for giving me a duh moment. ;)

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Your welcome. No insult intended. Born in 58, I happen to remember from 63 on.

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You're a little older than me. :P