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Since When Did Sports Equal Patriotism?

By Lafe Tolliver, Esq
Guest Column

     Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, has issued some guidelines regarding the controversy of NFL players taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem.

     Goodell knows, or should know, that the protests initiated by the now "blackballed" and gifted quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, had not an iota to do with disrespect for either the flag, the military, first responders or the police.

     The coward that Goodell is, he is falling in line in sycophantic obedience to Herr Trump and his mindless utterances about black athletes being "SOB's!"

Lafe Tolliver, Esq

     So now, the athletes can either stand to attention during the playing of the national anthem or they can remain inside the locker room or the stadium tunnel hallway and, then, when the anthem has finished playing, they can come onto the playing field.

     First of all, this bumbling attempt to equate the American flag with sports, or visa versa, is a sham. When professional sports first started playing public games, it was never about honoring the flag when they were trying to knock the stuffings out of their opponents.

     The artificial blending of teary-eyed ticket holders yelling and screaming for a basketball, baseball, hockey or football team was a concocted in order to sell more tickets and make people feel good about attending a paid professional sporting event.

     It was only when white America was called on the carpet about their deliberate and systemic racism by the act of black athletes (and a few white players) protesting that the powers-that-be took action.

     The action that they undertook, aided and abetted by a racist president, was to ban kneeling and other forms of protest at NFL games.

     If you have reading comprehension beyond the third grade level, you would have determined that the kneeling NFL players were protesting the cheapness of black lives as expressed by the outrageous deadly gun violence against black males by white cops.

     President Trump took the protest message and stripped it of its original intent and goal and made it an expression of black people disrespecting the flag, the country, the military or the first responders.

    Herr Trump, even with his short-term attention span and limited learning abilities, knew that his base would gladly howl to the moon if he slapped black people and kicked the black male. So he did and he did it gladly.

     He called the kneeling black NFL players, "SOB's!" or in everyday parlance, they were birthed by female dogs.

That is how Herr Trump views black males...they are dogs to him just as he called many immigrants not humans but animals.

    Remember when white NFL quarterback Tim Tebow took a knee at a football game in 2012 to protest abortion? When he took that knee, he was called a "model American" and was feted as a good guy.

    But when black ballers kneel to protest racism and police killings, they are seen as being "un-American" because they used their First Amendment rights to tell white America that all is not well in the kingdom.

    White America did not and does not want a mirror set before them and especially at a game of gladiators providing them sport and relief from their daily lives.

    Can you imagine the invectives that Herr Trump would have thrown against Rosa Parks when she "kneeled" and refused to give up her paid bus seat to a white male during an act of protest that kicked off the famed Montgomery Bus Boycott?

    Now remember, Jehovah Witnesses do not salute the American flag and the Amish do not stand up for the national anthem but do you see any national outcry against their practices?

    It is akin to national conservative media host, Laura Ingraham telling LeBron James to shut up and just dribble the basketball when LeBron took a stance regarding Black Lives Matter!

    Many white people simply do not like anyone darker than a snow flake to get into their grill and say that they are wrong and that they need to change.

    It is astounding for Herr Trump to give aid and comfort to the Neo Nazis marching in Charlottesville and calling them good people but he utters profanity when he sees black men also exercising that same freedom of speech and assembly.

    The NFL commissioner may have opened a smelly can of worms when he capitulated to Herr Trump and the fat cat NFL owners (who pay his sky high salary to be their mouthpiece) to shut down any protest by black players.

    Once again we see where Herr Trump has used the bully pulpit power of the White House to inflame public passion against people of color who are peacefully protesting the ongoing killing of black men.

    President Trump lied about the original meaning behind the NFL kneeling protests and shaped and shaved the truth to fit his own demagogic narrative...and it worked.

Contact Lafe Tolliver at tolliver@juno.com


Copyright © 2018 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08/16/18 14:12:10 -0700.

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