Everyone know my stance on this subject and how it sickens me to watch the continued kneeling during the National Anthem. There’s been enough in the press on both sides of the argument for us to digest so I’ve tried as of late to avoid adding to the noise. I thought it was appropriate though as this, October 17th, 1968 is the day in history that Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith (winner of the 200-meter dash) and bronze medalist John Carlos were forced to return their awards because they raised their fists in a black-power salute during the medal ceremony. In a press conference the next day, International Olympic Committee President Avery Brundage deplored the athletes’ “outrageous stance”, he said, “it repudiated the basic principles of the Olympic games.” The AP photograph of the ceremony is one of the most familiar and enduring images of a tumultuous era. What’s interesting however is that even during this highly racially charged era of the late 60’s, American’s of all color joined together to vilify their protest and disrespect for the flag. Fast forward to today and we have a wave of millionaires “taking a knee” kneeling during the National Anthem to protest social injustice. I’ve listened to arguments both for and against and have tried to keep an extremely open mind. I’ve even listened intently and carefully to the veterans who have served and said they were ok with the kneeling as it is the very freedoms they had fought for…still I can’t get my head around it. Why protest during the National Anthem? Why protest during a period of time that honors our forefathers who have sacrificed so much? From my perspective, I was always told that the National Anthem was a moment in time to pay respect to the people who have risked their lives, been injured, or died defending the United States. Again, I’m not against the message or protesting about social injustice, but I’m strongly against the delivery and timing of doing it during this sacred moment. It just seems so counterproductive and a step in the wrong direction. It creates even greater division inside our nation. My ultimate question is how long can the “PRINCIPLES” that have bound us together in this great nation remain larger than the “PRINCIPLES” that are dividing and tearing us apart? I’ve always liked the the thought that life, much like football, is a game of inches. Those small “inches” when added together ultimately tell the story. From my perspective, it seems like there’s been a lot of “inches” the past 10-years added towards dividing our nation rather than bringing us closer together. FYI, the NFL has a meeting scheduled today between NFL management, ownership, and the NFL Players Association to discuss ways to curtail the demonstrations and channel the player passions. It is at least the third such meeting, but none have completely ended the protests. Television is now trying to shield the protests from viewers as networks cut away to commercials before right before the National Anthem can be viewed. Interestingly, the number of protesters has dramatically declined. After nearly 200 sat or knelt three weeks ago in response to criticism from President Trump, fewer than a dozen did so on Sunday, an indication that even the players may be ready to move on. Lets hope this is the case…

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