It’s no secret that I am a solid Conservative. I grew up in a house where family values were more important than current trends. Where the flag was respected and revered. And where hard work and honesty were expected.
A couple of weeks ago, I attended Cy’s last home town rodeo in Dillon. The University of Montana Western hosted its annual college rodeo. Of course, before the start of each performance, there was the presentation of flags. In the rodeo world, sponsor flags precede the state and national flag. I’ve been involved in these types of opening ceremonies for most of my life. And every time, I tear up when the red, white, and blue of Old Glory makes its way into the arena. I can’t help it. When I look at the stars and stripes and listen to the national anthem, I can’t help but think about everything this country offers. Everything it stands for. And I’m filled with pride to be an American. I was fortunate to be born in this country. There is no other place I’d rather be.
I know I’ve posted previously about my feelings regarding the flag controversy that started in the NFL. From the outset, I felt that type of protest had no place in that forum and that the person starting it had no clue about any kind of injustice. Nor did he fully realize the extent to which he was offending a large segment of our population. I refuse to use his name; he doesn’t deserve another microsecond of fame based on his cowardly and selfish behavior.
There are several reasons his action bother me.
First, this man has never experienced any kind of social injustice. He was adopted into a white, upper class family, where he lived a luxurious lifestyle of privilege and fortune. For him to try and lecture me on hardship is an affront to my intelligence.
Second, he is a millionaire, as are all the other ‘men’ who have joined his protest. These spoiled, over paid athletes are hypocrites. They have fat bank accounts, luxury homes, sports cars, etc. and are crying out about how their skin color makes life unfair. Get real. They are playing a child’s game and making a fortune.
Third, if anyone wants to protest something, that is their right. But not on someone else’s dime. I was under the impression that athletes had to uphold certain ideals when playing for a professional team. I know if I protested during my work hours, I wouldn’t have a job.
Fourth, their kneeling is doing nothing positive. If these men truly believed in this ‘protest’ they would use their ample resources to actually make changes in their communities, and beyond. They would volunteer their time to local charities and outreach programs. They would use their fame to make positive steps in dealing with the issues they like to throw around as their basis for protesting. All they are doing by taking a knee is showing their ignorance and arrogance.
Fifth, protesting our national anthem has nothing to do with what they claim bothers them. Our flag represents so many key American ideals. It represents freed. It represents hope. It represents resilience. Is this country perfect? No. Is our society free from prejudice? No. And based on the obvious hatred and racial divide that is being fostered by left-leaning politicians, we will never be free from bias. But this country still offers more than any other in the world. These men who like to claim their African heritage as being more vital than their American birth should move to an African country. And then try to earn the kind of money their are in this country. Or try to protest the government. They might learn to appreciate what they’ve been allowed in America. Some say the lyrics to the anthem are racist and offensive. I’ve read them. I don’t see it. And frankly, I’m tired of everything being twisted into some racial issue.
Sixth, taking a knee, for me, is a slap in the face to the military men and women who have serving and are currently serving. These people offer their lives in order for the rest of us to live as free human beings. Military personnel, police, first responders all deserve our respect. For the most part, they serve their fellow man with very little compensation, and in some areas, with zero respect. These men who started this disgusting behavior are directly responsible for the blatant attacks on military and police. And they should be ashamed of themselves. Of course there are corrupt officers. Just as there are corrupt football players who abuse drugs or beat the women in their lives. Seems to me, instead of lumping the majority of decent officers in with the small percentage of corrupt ones, these protesters are behaving in exact ways that they say they are against.
And seventh, I will not watch another NFL game. I won’t allow any games to be shown in my house. And that has expanded to NBA. Not that I follow any teams or hold up any players of either league as role models. But I would occasionally watch a game, especially during post season. These protesters have completely ruined the games for me. And the league commissioners, team owners, managers, etc. who have allowed this type of behavior are no better than the protesters themselves. When my core values, as an American, are essentially thrown to the ground, I will find other ways to entertain myself and occupy my time. I don’t need to watch a bunch of grown ‘men’ playing games and thinking they are above the rest of us. Eventually, these leagues will see the result in their pocketbooks. Because there are enough people who feel the same as I do.
So, even though I defend anyone’s right to protest and to disagree with my beliefs, I don’t defend the destruction or disrespect of our national symbol. I have the right to engage in my own form of protest. In the form of money and support. I won’t spend a dime supporting these men or their organizations.
I will stand up. I will put my hand over my heart. I will fly the flag with pride. And I will continue to cry when I see that flag being carried into an arena horseback. The alternative just isn’t acceptable for me.