September 11, 2016

It's Time to Take a Stand...

There are 32 NFL teams who will each be playing 16 regular season games this year. That’s 256 games. To break it down even more, that’s 15,360 minutes of regular season football. And that doesn’t count overtime or the playoffs. That’s a lot of football. But I won’t be seeing one second of it. And before you ask. Yes, it’s by choice.

Call it a protest. Call it a boycott. Call it making a statement. It doesn’t really matter what you call it. But I’ve had enough, so I am refusing to watch. I’m taking a stand. For what? Simply put, our nation.

You would have to have been living under a rock to not know about the latest trend of professional athletes refusing to stand for the national anthem. The commentaries, water cooler conversations, and radio talk show segments about it are too numerous to count. But there’s one entity that has been deafeningly silent about it all. The NFL.

In fact, “the league” has done little to show its loyalty to the country that has given it the very opportunity to make the profit they have, even though the NFL is officially a nonprofit organization. (If you were unaware of that fact, I have to wonder what else you are unaware of when it comes to this topic.) But my refusal to watch overpaid men be paid by other overpaid men to play a boy’s game is about more than these athletes or their “statements”. It’s about more than the millionaires in the boardrooms. It’s about the overall message being sent.

The NFL will undoubtedly play to the crowds’ emotions with touching tributes to 9/11, the military, first responders, etc. But if you think they actually care about those things, think again.

Am I saying that every football player is a self-indulging, self-satisfying primadonna? No. There are great men who do great things who play the game. But as far as the league is concerned, please don’t buy the lie.

Sure, if it benefits them, they’re all for it. But the moment a team wants to honor the police with a one-inchsticker on the back of their helmets, or a player wants to pay tribute to the 2,977 people killed on 9/11, the league steps in and says, “Oh no you don’t…not if we can’t make a buck off it. In fact, if you do those things, we’re going to fine you!”

I simply cannot support that kind of league.

This point in the history of our nation is crucial. Sadly, we are more divided now than at nearly any other time leading back to the Civil War. If you don’t think so then you are in serious denial, my friend. Just take a look around.

Sport is supposed to be something that exists to bring us together. But does anyone actually think that is happening right now? Are the league’s actions, these players’ protests, or any of the “conversations” being created actually helping? No. It’s contributing to the problem and making things worse.

I’m all for people’s rights to speak out. It’s one of the things I signed up to fight for with my life. But there are times when we need to move past what we “feel,” get over what we “want,” and we need to realize there is something greater than any one of us. Right now, we need to join together for the greater good.

Are we perfect? Not. At. All. Only our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is. But we cannot – we must not – think the imperfections in our country are grounds for dividing us further. Because nothing will bring us down faster. And we need organizations like the most popular sports league in the land to stand up and speak out.

So to boil it down… Why am I refusing to watch the NFL this season? Because it’s time to take a stand for our nation, while too many others (literally and figuratively) are not.