by G. Brown
The NFL protest has dominated national news ahead of the threat of nuclear war with N. Korea. Instead the president seems to be declaring war on the rights of protesters. On Tuesday, Donald Trump threatened to use federal tax laws to penalize the NFL because of Black athletes kneeling in protest during the national anthem.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to team owners saying everyone should stand for the anthem.
But the protest was never about the anthem. The protest has not been about the flag or veterans. The protest as started a year ago by Colin Kaepernick was about police brutality against Blacks.
Tuesday on ABC’s “The View” SF 49’er Eric Reid wanted to remind everyone why he joined his former team mate Colin Kaepernick who started the protest over a year ago.
Reid said, “When I first joined Colin [Kaepernick] in the protests, it was following the aftermath of Alton Sterling… At that point I knew I had to do something and speak out for people who don’t have a voice.”
Reid went on to say he wanted to use his “platform” to address “police brutality” and “systemic oppression of black and brown people.”
What “systemic oppression”? Oppression is when people in power force people with less power to do what they want. When the Vice President spends hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax payer money on a PR stunt to fly to a game just so he can walk out and intimate players, owners and others–that’s oppression.
When the President uses the power of the office in which he swore an oath to protect all citizens but instead exerts pressure and influence to get a sports anchor who called him a White supremacist suspended, that’s oppression. When the President tramples on the freedom of speech, the right to protest of the NFL players who choose to kneel for a song, that’s oppression. You can’t trample the constitutional rights of some because you want to protect the flag in a protest that isn’t about patriotism, but the lives of Black and Brown people.
When Martin Luther King and 200,000 people marched on Washington in 1963, it was a protest to get fair employment opportunities for Blacks who weren’t being hired–people didn’t like the protest. When Black people in 1965 marched across the Pettus Bridge in Alabama on Bloody Sunday, it was to make sure Blacks were given their right to vote—people didn’t like it. Now people are protesting to stop police brutality against Blacks and again—people don’t like it.
This began as a protest about police brutality, but it has turned into a fight once again about denying some people their constitutional rights to peacefully protest because other people—people in power don’t like it.
The opposition has made some sob story about how the protest is unpatriotic—a slap in the face to our veterans. Reid said his Mom is a veteran and he’s proud of her. The opposition has clouded the issue, changed the narrative to make this protest seem anti-American when the right to protest is more American than the football game they are there to watch.
The saddest truth in all this controversy…the opposition doesn’t want to be distracted by the players concerns of social causes. They don’t care that Blacks are still being treated with brutality and killed. They just want those Blacks to entertain them and chase the ball.