“Give me Liberty, or give me Death,” argued Patrick Henry as he urged his patriots to raise a militia to fight for the freedoms and ideals that would form a new nation—A country in which liberty for all would reign supreme.
By uttering these words, Henry became a traitor to the British Crown and if caught he would be executed for his part in the revolution. This is a protest. A cause most people not only in the fledgling United States, but those in Europe, understood and either supported or condemned.
At a very insignificant event, “March on Washington” Reverend Martin Luther King opened his address to the crowd, “I am happy to join with you today in what will do down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of the nation.”
Dr. King spoke of a day when all citizens would be free, when all citizens of this great nation would join hand and hand with one another. Our citizens would no longer judge a man by the color of his skin or the origin of his birth. “This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to singe with new meaning: “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride from every mountainside let freedom ring.” And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the might mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let Freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.”
Dr. King lost friends and family members because he chose to speak out against the injustices of racial hatred that walked and stalked among the dwellings in America. Dr. King was ridiculed and booed as he spoke against the slurs and violence perpetrated against those who sought justice.
Dr. King became a resident of the Birmingham jail because he dared to speak against the tyranny of the South. Dr. King paid with his life’s blood to guarantee the right to demonstrate, march, and vote for civil rights in this country.
Cesar Chavez spoke against the manipulation and maltreatment against immigrant farm workers who spent hours In the fields gathering the crops that fed most Americans. Large corporate farms built their fortunes off the backs of the farm worker. Chavez demonstrated, struck, and protested to help secure a better way of life for those who were underprivileged.
Protests—the act of fighting or arguing for a cause. A cause that is known and understood. A protestor is willing to face ridicule, have their dignity stripped, and their worldly possessions lost. A protestor willing to sign their petition of grievance with the blood from their body.
Today’s NFL football players make a mockery of the protest. They spit upon the blood not of just the American soldier but the protestors who have stood, kneeled, sat, or marched before them.
Those protesters have placed “skin in the game”. These football players only look to make a spectacle of themselves and the create a distraction to any cause they may support. I say this because most of us have no idea regarding the protest they have created. Some say they protest the social injustices most African Americans face from America’s government. Some say they were protesting because of President Trump’s remarks.
A fatal flaw of this protest—there is no known cause. They have not spoken of the event or action they wish to protest. They offer no talking points for the public to decide if they wish to join or support the movement. There has been no organized movement except to make a mockery of the National Anthem.
Most National League players are stars. They have access to the media and media outlets most Americans do not. How many of these football players have reached for the microphone to articulate their protest? How many of these “protestors” have held town hall meetings or assemblies in which they spell out the platform of their protest? How many of these highly paid individuals have offered to forfeit their salary to provide for educational events, or other actions to combat against the injustice or cause they protest?
Yes, Jane Fonda and others burned the American flag and they disgraced the flag and the soldiers in this country to protest the war. How effective where they? Some may argue they stopped a battle, but they have not stopped a war. Most will argue those actions that disgrace the flag or the national ideals of America do not effect change but muddle the very issue they wish to protest.
You did not hear of Patrick Henry setting fire to a British flag when he concluded his speech. You never watched Dr. King disrespect the flag or the National Anthem when protesting the barbaric treatment of African Americans during the 1960’s. He defended the principles of his country. He supported the flag, and even referred to all Americans in joining in to sing America the Beautiful.
When these new protesters announce “they are not going to play another game until the injustices facing American’s are cured” then I will support their protest. Until they put “skin in the game” and face the prospect of loss true protesters have endured, then I am ready to support your “cause”.
Until you have a true protest, the next time you fall to your knees, I hope its in prayer. Prayer of thanksgiving, that you do not truly have to protest. Prayer of thanksgiving, you live in a country where Americans are still watching your antics. Prayer of thanksgiving, you have a home, and are paid an enormous sum to play a game.
May you one day join us in reality—better yet, I hope you do not. For reality extracts a price, I do not believe any of you are willing to pay.