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Can We Get Past the Most Devastating Time in History for the National Football League?

Updated on March 11, 2020
abwilliams profile image

Sports should be followed, played, enjoyed, shared among generations. Yes to good fun, rivalries, bringing us together; No to the politics

Please, no more of this!
Please, no more of this!

A Sad and Sickening Display

Many of us loyal football fans were sickened, when we began witnessing members of NFL teams, disrespecting America, by 'taking a knee', during the National Anthem.

We hoped beyond hope that it would not go any further and that no one from our team would go there, but then, they did!

Teams which many of us have loved and followed, since we were young kids with heroes of our own, had players, follow suit.

Teams we've stuck with through thick and thin, through wonderful winning seasons, but also through the stressful, struggling, losing seasons.

That's what fans do!

When this all began in 2016, many thought that the disrespectful display by one lone player, Colin Kaepernick, 'taking a knee' during the National Anthem, was a fleeting thing, a little temper tantrum on his part, he would be properly dealt with a ‘time out’ or something appropriate and then this ugly little spectacle would be put to rest, once and for all.

After a sad display on 9/24/17, one year later, it was very clear that it had not been put to rest, far from it, it was festering, it had turned even uglier, with no end in sight.

For many of us, this had gone far beyond feeling sickened by it, to feeling moved to turn off and tune out and, in droves, we did!

Kids were watching too and they respond to what they see and what they hear, that which is in front of them, in these cases, their role models and heroes.

We knew that things had gone way too far, when we saw the future of football, very young Pop Warner kids, acting and doing as their role models, mimicking their heroes, by taking a knee during the National Anthem.

We witnessed a major disconnect when these young kids refused to see America as worthy of their respect or worthy of their attention, even for a few short minutes.

What did these kids learn from these men, these sports figures, their role models...when they {their role models} made the conscience decision to do this?

What statement was made by their kneeling, sitting or whatever, during the National Anthem?

Is our National Anthem not a time for reflecting on America?

A time for remembering the sacrifices of so many, provided through an opportunity to reflect on America; not because we have a gun to our heads and are forced to do so by some Dictator, but rather because...we don't, due to the selfless sacrifice of the brave, over many decades.

  • People of all colors, races, ethnicities and religions have lost limbs, many are bilateral amputees
  • Many have lost their eyesight or their hearing
  • Many have lost their minds and so have lost their way
  • Quality of life has been lost by many, due to too much time away from their loved ones
  • Many have lost their lives

Defending that glorious flag, the inspiration behind our National Anthem, which belongs to all of us, all Americans.


Many avenues

Those wishing to make a statement about what they see, as unfair treatment in America, have many choices, after all, this is the United States of America.

Their many avenues include:

  1. Holding a Press conference
  2. Going before Congress with a list of grievances (the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, just after the part about "peaceable assembly"..."petition the Government for a redress of grievances.")
  3. Writing an Op-Ed
  4. Hitting the talk shows, making the case
  5. Not participating in the NFL or any other sports organization which makes them feel oppressed

On the turf, in a uniform, about to do a job once dreamed about, now a reality, in the presence of fans; men, women and children that support, root for and admire them, is not the time, nor the place!

By doing this, they disrespect their fan base, this country and all that have fought, all that are fighting and especially those that fought and ended up losing their lives in the process.

The players that chose to do this, {some may still be doing it} did not accomplish a single thing, they lost support, they lost fans and they gave their teams a bad name.

The NFL suffered tremendously and the powers that be within the NFL, did not help matters, with their lack of urgency in nipping it in the bud.


Sports figures,

Whether you want it or not, whether you've asked for it or not, you play a vital role in many kid's lives, they are always watching and learning from their elders, especially their heroes.

Will they grow up realizing that here in the United States of America...the horizon is wide and their opportunities vast or will they grow up with a giant chip on their shoulder?

Will they look at you and say "I can do that, I'm disciplined, I'm capable" or will they look at you and say "Why should I even bother, my hero doesn't?"

They are looking to you, many have no love or support in their homes, you are all they have and it doesn't matter if you accept that, it is a fact!

Self-imposed Boycott of the NFL and Update

When this was happening, I made the decision to boycott NFL games, I didn't make a big deal out of it and I did not ask anyone to join me.

It was a personal decision!

In addition to what I saw as blatant disrespect toward this Country and toward all that defend her, past and present, I also thought about the impact that this defiant act was having on kids.

Sports figures are role models and the young and impressionable are always watching and observing.

When Colin Kaepernick made the decision to 'take a knee' during the National Anthem, it really hit a nerve with me, as I know it did with many!

When others followed his lead and it began to spread throughout the league, into other sports, eventually making its way into youth sports, it angered me.

I knew that not a single positive thing could or would come from it!

With each new pre-season, many players, were still making the decision to sit it out, take a knee, huddle up, once again, turning their backs on America, during the National anthem.


When I read the story of the high school football coach, fired for taking a knee, for no other reason than, a simple prayer of thanks at the end of a game, it got me to thinking...

Rather than boycotting, what if each time I witness or hear of, a player 'taking a knee', 'sitting it out', 'turning their back', I think of Coach Kennedy. He was fired for the defiant act of...taking a knee in order to give thanks...and what if, I say a prayer, in his stead?

Whether it be a prayer of thanks, a prayer for clarity or a prayer for those defending our rights (even when we've lost sight of that fact) I will be offering a prayer that Coach Kennedy has been deprived of offering.

My focus will be on something positive and hopefully, something positive will result!

What if all of America did the same?

Where do we go from here?

What I'd prefer, is for this inappropriate display to discontinue and for America's game to be just that...a game!

A time when we put the stress and strain from the week behind us, fire up the grill, put our kids and grandkids into the jersey of what we hope will some day be, their favorite team.

With our friends and family, we simply enjoy one of our favorite pastimes, rooting for our favorite teams and for our favorite players.

IF that cannot happen, because a few will not allow it to happen, then each time they choose to 'take a knee', I'll be offering an additional prayer for the healing of this divided Nation.

Taking something negative and divisive and turning it into a positive!

Could say...Praying it Forward.

God Bless America!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2016 A B Williams


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    • abwilliams profile imageAUTHOR

      A B Williams 

      2 years ago from Central Florida

      Some members of my team made the choice to 'take a knee' to the next level.

      It was sad enough when they did this last year on American soil, (pictured above) today they've done so on foreign soil, during the playing of Our National Anthem!

      To dig the knife in a little deeper and make sure the World knows how they really feel about their Country, they honored England by standing up for their Anthem.

      I am so done, the Miami Dolphins are no longer my team!

      (I will continue to say a prayer for America, each time I hear of any person on any team, doing this)


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