The US Flag, Pledge of Allegiance, National Anthem, and NFL Protests Summary
Personally, I think protesting during the National Anthem is unnecessary and not the better way. But, it was and is Colin Kaepernick and others constitutional right to choose to do so since the NFL seemingly does not forbid it as their employer. For me it would have been better and still would be better if they adhered to the standard expectation during the National Anthem.
Yet, as the scripture says “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28). So my hope is that Colin’s action and the subsequent actions of President Trump, NFL Owners/Players, and others will lead to long term improvements in social/racial justice in our nation to move us to a more perfect union.
Now the issue has become President Trump and the National Anthem rather than the injustice issues Colin intended to raise. Most NFL Owners/Players are kneeling/acting to protest Trump. Let them stand for Anthem and let the NFL Management, Owners, and Players take more productive actions in support of Colin’s and the nation’s issues of justice.
These are complex injustice issues that require a lot of initiative, faith, courage, integrity, and resources to resolve or at least improve. Injustice issues of this day are far more complex than injustice elements of 1950s/1960s such as separate water fountains, separate bathrooms, and hand-me-down books. Such injustice elements were visibly obvious and undeniable.
We as a nation have come a long ways in moving the nation forward to a more perfect union in terms of equity and justice for all people regardless of race. Yet, we have more work to do. Given the spiritual/moral and socio-economic state of our society, some form of protest is yet needed.
In my personal opinion it would be better if the NFL (management, owners, and players as a unit) at the very least joined together in massive street protests off the work clock. Yet, it would be even better if the NFL joined together in a media campaign to highlight injustices (legal, social, racial, economic, etc.) and solutions. It would be even better than that if the NFL visibly funded and promoted those solutions in every city and county perhaps starting with but not solely in the major cities. It would be even better if this happened with mutual agreement through joint initiatives (including funding) with the Executive Branch (President Trump and Cabinet), Congress (House and Senate), and the US Supreme Court, and related entities at all levels of government, Federal, State, and Local.
The Texarkana Area Christian Leadership Conference (www.taclc.org) that my ministry held in March 2017 was a local step regarding these complex issues. More steps are in the planning stage regarding injustices to all races.
Where Do We Go From Here
The key is whether there will be more deliberate action on the part of the President, NFL Management, Owners and Players, and others that improves matters for all Americans in general and Black Americans in particular.
It is now time or at least extremely close to time for everyone to go back standing according to convention during the National Anthem. Those protesting by kneeling and those counter-protesting kneeling should come together to more deliberately put forth plans and actions with timelines to resolve the issues Colin intended to bring attention and issues of injustice more generally.
For a more extensive discussion see my article here.
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