The Knee And The Damage Done

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A recent political cartoon from Ben Garrison.

In today’s society of social media and people getting mad over the slightest of things, I find that the more you say you protest, the less you do. Now, I don’t know how accurate that finding of mine is, it’s just something I think is ironically true.

I didn’t make a big deal out of my boycott of NFL games in light of the “knee taking” going on that I found disrespectful to our military. I found myself in the role of sportscaster Howard Cosell in 1982 when he swore off of professional boxing after he called the one-sided Larry Holmes-Randall “Tex” Cobb fight. After that night which saw Holmes batter his challenger over fifteen rounds, Cosell never called another pro fight, but continued to announce amateur fights, including the prominent 1984 Olympic boxing tournament in Los Angeles, which in turn spurred so many of it’s big names to the pro fight game. (One of Cosell’s post-pro boxing calls involve a guy you may have heard of: Mike Tyson.)

I have a similar take at present to Howard’s when it comes to the gridiron: I’ll watch college ball, but not the pros. I just want the NFL to stop taking political stands when in the past, they’ve gone way out of their way not to make political statements. I’m also standing up for my late father, who served in the military in the Army and was a life-long NFL fan. He’d probably be very upset if he lived to see what happened last week, and with his memory in my thoughts, I couldn’t watch the games with a clear conscience. So, I quietly found another way to get through the past two Sunday afternoons. I saw the Bucs scores as they came in on my IPhone, but that was all the involvement I took part in these past two weekends.

Then again, if you have told me a week and a half ago that we’d be revisiting the whole Colin Kapernick odyssey, I would have wondered what insane asylum you escaped from. The National Football League took the bizarre step of turning an unemployable quarterback into a martyr of sorts, with not one NFL team hiring Colin in the since the controversy has been reopened.

I’m not liberal on everything, I’m not conservative on everything. I have no doubt there is a bit of racial injustice that exists in our imperfect world – and that there’s always going to be a chance that our police departments won’t always do the right thing because they’re human beings. It also must be true that there are people on both sides that do not want equality as much as they insist so that they can eternally play us off against each other, just as Bob Marley said in one of this songs. Why have unity when you can have eternal conflict?

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Much like Howard Cosell that fateful night after Thanksgiving in 1982 when he called that Larry Holmes-Tex Cobb heavyweight fight/fiasco, I wonder if these NFL players and the officials who allowed the kneeling (which the NFL rules and guidelines clearly don’t allow, by the way) that they are constructing an advertisement for the downfall of the very sport that they are apart of. If the fans don’t watch, or don’t pay to attend these games, they are not only defeating their own purpose, but they are defecating on what would be the great players and stars the future would provide. Instead, these players will play baseball, soccer, basketball, and other sports.

I’m saddened by the events of the past week and a half, but I’m also very annoyed by it. One of the great leagues in American society has chosen to accelerate it’s own extinction, and on some level, I am one of the instruments of their demise. I wish I wasn’t apart of such a decision, but my family and my country come before a game.

2 thoughts on “The Knee And The Damage Done”

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