I stand for Americans’ right to protest. I kneel with those that have been unjustly treated by the police. I raise my fist in the air for those that have been forgotten and ignored. I march with those that have been discriminated against. But I don’t do it during my job.
As the editor, I rarely write anything for America Speaks Ink, other than a few video repostings. However, if you were sitting in my living room at night, you’d realize how loud my voice really is while I watch the news. I scream at the television. I cannot believe the things I hear coming from CNN, MSNBC, and yes, even Fox News! I’m always tempted to write it all down, because of my passion. However, writing is not my passion, nor is it my forte, so please forgive me my ramblings.
Lately, this NFL issue has been blasting on my TV non-stop. Well, I have an opinion on that! First, I am a HUGE NFL fan. I watch football with the same fervor as any man and scream at the coaches and players probably even a little more. However, the hubbub concerning this whole kneeling thing has completely gotten out of hand. First off, even though the players’ message has been heard, it has been convoluted. The problem is not that they protest. The problem is not that they are standing up or kneeling for what is true and just. The problem is not that their protest is silent. The problem is that it’s during their job.
Now I have known many folks that disagree with the way certain things are done and those folks have full right to protest. We have Freedom of Speech in this country, thank goodness, and this should be revered. However, I have never once known a boss or a company that allows their employees to protest on company time. Now I know that these NFL players make A LOT more money than the average Joe. But I also know that these NFL players are paid for playing the game of football. So, when they walk on that field or they come to that stadium, they are “on the clock” so to speak.
When the average Joe wants to protest an injustice, they have to go down to the courthouse and get a permit (if in a public place) or they wait for a day off and protest in their own way. I don’t see average Joe kneeling at the start of a staff meeting while the head honcho of the company is delivering their morning briefing. It’s free speech. It’s a silent protest. It’s not violent. It’s not even hurting anyone. However, it IS on the company’s time and you WILL get in trouble or even fired!
I respect the right of the NFL players to protest. In fact, I feel they should really get out there and protest about all sorts of injustice!! However, they should do it on their own time. I don’t turn on football to hear about anything but football. I want to hear Chucky’s voice (Jon Gruden) as he rips about the Spider 2 Y Banana. I want to watch grown men run 98 yards on a kick return for a touchdown. I want to see one-handed catches, perfect bullets into triple coverage, and see that quarterback still hit those numbers as he’s being sacked. I want to forget all the day’s troubles and enjoy an afternoon or evening of physical sports and competition of the best of the best. I want my escape from the day to day doldrums. I want my football.
Whether or not I agree or disagree with a message… sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and understand that as Americans, even though we have rights… that doesn’t give us the green light to infringe upon the rights of others nor does it give us the right to do whatever we want wherever we want to. Yes, the players of the NFL have a right to protest. However, their bosses have the right to tell them to do it on their own time. While some bosses require certain dress codes and other codes of conduct on the job… protesting during company time is certainly a no-no and it shouldn’t be allowed during an NFL game either.