As an educated Black woman, military vet, and former executive in the sports and entertainment industry, specifically having worked with two professional football teams, the recent statements made by Chump and the reactions by the NFL have left me completely dumbfounded. I'm really flabbergasted by the dumbfuckery... but I'm honestly not surprised.
On August 11, 2017, two days before my 33rd birthday, a close friend of mine was given tickets by her coworker, and she invited me to go to the Giants vs. Steelers game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Since I've never attended a professional football game – approximately 80 – that I didn't have to work, I gladly accepted. Though I had previously decided to take part in the NFL Boycott, my attendance to the preseason game was not in contrast to Colin Kaepernick’s protest to bring awareness to police brutality when he knelled during the national anthem or the resulting NFL blackballing of his right to freedom of speech. I went to the Giant's game because it was my birthday weekend, and with all that I've personally been through working in the sports and entertainment industry the greater part of the last 14 years, I had literally come full circle. On that day, I didn't have to sign people up for instant prizes or managed the professional athlete autograph signing pre-game sessions with fans. I was not responsible for coordinating facility operations or managing stadium wide communication and a staff of four. I didn’t have to host a suite or entertain VIP banking clients, and make sure everyone had a great time. On August 11, 2017, I didn’t have to be an impartial MetLife Stadium employee working games for the NY Jets or the NY Giants. On that day, I was just a fan reppin' my NY Giants gear, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
The reason I’m stating the back story for this blog post is because I had a Facebook friend comment on one of the pictures I posted from the game and she asked, “No boycott for you?” Needless to say, I felt a hint of shade, and I had time that day to thoroughly explain my perspective which resulted in her deleting her comments from the thread. People shouldn’t ask questions that they don’t want the answer to, and can't state the same for themselves without a ready, rational response. Let me also preface that the only anthem I acknowledge is the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by James Weldon Johnson, and the only flag I acknowledge is the RBG – Red Black and Green. It is the Pan-African flag formally adopted by the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL) at Madison Square Garden in New York City on August 13, 1920 – exactly 64 years before I entered this world, so yes, it has intrinsic and sentimental value, and historical relevance to me.
On Friday, September 22 at a rally for Alabama Republican Senate candidate Luther Strange, 45 said that NFL owners should respond to players that kneel by saying, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He’s fired. He’s fired!”
What has our nation come to when the news media have to bleep the "president" saying "bitch" in replays to cover the story? It's a sad ass day and age we're living in...
He then fired off a series of tweets regarding more of the same including a tweet on Saturday, September 23 withdrawing an invite for the Golden State Warriors, specifically Stephen Curry, to visit the White House after winning the 2017 NBA championship finals. You can't uninvite someone that didn't want to come anyway, and LeBron rightly called 45 a "bum" in defense of Steph.
In response, on Sunday, September 24, NFL teams across the country stayed in the locker room, took a knee or stood and linked arms in “solidarity” against Drumpf’s divisive comments. Some teams also released statements; some less condemning and rather softball than others. On Monday, September 25, the Dallas Cowboys – “America’s Team” – briefly took a knee with owner, Jerry Jones, before the national anthem was played then stood up and linked arms while Jordin Sparks sang the national anthem as she subtly protested in her own way. She wrote “Prov 31:8-9” on her left hand.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Since then, 45 has fired off a total of 24 tweets about the NFL including acknowledging loud boos from Cowboys and Cardinals fans alike, and has spent less time updating the country on the desperate conditions in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, his incessant name calling against Kim Jong-un and the very possible impending nuclear war with North Korea over a Twitter beef, the blatant hypocrisy of Jared and Ivanka’s use of private emails while conducting government business, their ties with Russia and the ongoing investigation that I hope leads to his impeachment, the widespread wildfires in Los Angeles, the healthcare bill vote, and the core of what Colin’s protest was all about – police brutality and social injustice.
This protest has been grossly hi-jacked and appropriated to depict Black NFL players disrespecting a flag and a song that represents this country – a country built on the backs of free labor, theft, murder, rape, and systemic oppression. How oddly "patriotic" is it that most of the same people spouting NFL players are disrespecting the flag are most likely the same people who still wave the Confederate flag and want Confederate statues to remain standing across the country? The Star-Spangled Banner, a song written by Francis Scott Key, a slave owner, celebrates the murder of slaves who freed themselves fighting in the British military and the triumph over them. The song was never intended to be a sense of pride and patriotism for African Americans. Not on the night of September 14, 1814 when Key penned it, and not on March 3, 1931 when it was formally adopted as the national anthem by President Herbert Hoover, and certainly not in the year of our Lord Two Thousand and Seventeen.
“No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the doom of the grave
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave”
So much has already been stated by various reporters and analysts regarding the silent protest so I’ll leave you with these facts:
Personally, I hope Colin doesn't play again because out of the 70% of Black players in the NFL, he's the only one (besides the few who briefly joined him prior to Drumpf’s comments) who sacrificed his livelihood to take a real stand for real issues, and I don't need chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) fucking up his wokeness if he continues his football career. If he does get signed, ya'll know the D Line will try to fuck up Colin on every play. Just sayin'...
We're with you, Kap! #TakeAKnee