It looks like the NFL will be dealing with protests for the entire 2016 season. Colin Kaepernick got the ball rolling by sitting during the playing of the national anthem during a preseason game.
Kap will not be getting a thank you card from Commissioner Goodell. Protests probably don’t help TV ratings or grow the League, the only two things that the Commish thinks about when he wakes up each day.
Many Americans will be getting their heaviest dose of the protest world this NFL season. Many aren’t interested in political talk or actions, so they turn a blind eye to it as often as possible.
A backup quarterback on a horrible team on the west coast has made turning a blind eye impossible in 2016.
The NFL is the perfect place for a protest. It gets the biggest TV ratings, so people can’t turn away like they can flip the channel off the local news.
I’m no fan of Kaepernick and feel that this privileged guy needs to dive deeper into the issues he is protesting. But, contrary to many talking heads on ESPN and the like, I feel he took his protest to the right place.
He didn’t even have to say a word. His silent, non-violent protest was simply noticed by the media. The quarterback had to know that his sitting during the anthem would eventually be noticed. And once that happened, he could tell the world why he chose to not honor the flag.
A protest is something that brings attention to a problem. You can’t get attention if you protest how the powers that be approve of. You have to make things a bit messy and uncomfortable for folks if you want your ideas to be heard.
Clearly, everyone is not going to agree with all protests, but by doing something daring, you can at least let your ideas see the light of day.
Many talking heads say Kaepernick took the wrong approach because it offended many Americans. That was the point.
You don’t shine the light on an issue by writing a nice letter. You scream from the rooftops so folks take notice…or do something that propels others to scream for you like Kap did.
It will be interesting to see what other forms of protest take shape the rest of the NFL season. Seattle has something special planned for their opener, according to wideout Doug Baldwin. And we’ve seen a few guys go with kneeling during the anthem just like Kaepernick.
Kap has provided a good blueprint for protests of any kind. You have to shake things up if you want people to notice.
That doesn’t include violence of any sort, nor aggressing against anyone’s property.
You can get your concerns into the public eye by going against convention. That does not mean you will get everyone on your side. But at least those that will unite with you, will know you exist and may even join you.
So anyone who hates what Kaepernick is doing should show their own form of protest. Just posting a tweet about how the guy makes you sick is weak.
If you think most police officers are doing a good job, then show that support in a real way at an NFL game.
If you hold military people in the highest esteem, don’t buy a damn sticker made in China saying “Support the Troops.” Support real men and women who are coming home beaten and battered. Buy them a ticket to a football game. Or see what you can do as a volunteer at a VA hospital.
You could even challenge your state representative to a regulated cage match if he always votes for sending those military folks into harm’s way, no matter the reasons. Filling out congressional email forms does not work.
Make things messy if you want to protest.
We don’t know where Kaepernick’s anthem protest will lead. Though I would like him to outline what changes would cause him to once again stand for the flag.
What we should all realize is that Kap’s protest was successful. Even if you totally disagree with his opinions, you have to admit he has created momentum for his movement. It remains to be seen what he will do with that momentum on a personal level in the long run.
So if you’re pissed off about something and want to see change, don’t wait for permission from those who are in charge.
America was made great by many different forms of protest. Most of those were not preapproved by the powers that be.
If your form of protest is just fine with those in power, then you have chosen a weak form of protest.