September 24, 2017 will be a day that will live in infamy for some sports fans in America.
For others like myself, it will be a day where over 200 NFL players stood against an inept president.
Donald Trump called for players that take a knee during the National Anthem to be fired. Trump even went as far as to call such players "son's of bitches" during his rally in Alabama over the weekend.
Trump's comments Friday evening initiated an out-pour of responses from the NFL superiors such as Roger Goodell, who called Trump's comments "divisive" and showed a "lack of respect for the NFL".
NFL Owners - who Trump said were his friends in the same speech - also denounced his comments. This was the first time that the NFL as a league showed support to those that decide to take a knee during the National anthem and acknowledge racial issuse in America since Kaepernick took a stand a year ago.
Trump's comments were very inappropriate. As president, he should be able to articulate his opinion in a much professional manner. He does not have to agree with the way they protest, but as the leader of the new world, he should respect them as citizens of the United States. Describing American citizens as SOBs because they are practicing their right to protest is not a man that can make a country great.
When Colin Kaepernick decided to sit during the National Anthem last season, he made it perfectly clear, he was protesting police brutality and racial injustice. By not standing, he wanted to bring awareness to an issue that has plagued our country for centuries. In 2016, 258 black people were killed by the law enforcement, and that's not including the number of people that were arrested with violent force. He wanted to bring awareness to the inequality that still somehow plagues this country. Kaepernick didn't take a knee because he hates America; like many of us, he wanted to see America be the country we claim it to be.
This protest was never about an anthem. Those that like to say this is a way of disrespecting the flag and country, are trying to ignore the issues at hand. NFL fans all over the country criticized and blasted players for kneeling. Not one of them actually acknowledges why they were doing it, including the president. Some also want to keep politics outside of sports because it's their "escape from life". The same ones that said this, didn't use this same rhetoric when Trump insulted an entire league of players.
Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, doesn't want to see any of his players protest during the national anthem. He believes that the anthem is not the time for protest. As a life-long fan of the Cowboys, I would like to ask him, when is a good time? Why is it not ok for players to bring awareness to an issue on the biggest stage in sports right now. I would also ask him does he have the same strong feelings towards the issues that are being protested? Those that don't support the protest are also silent on the issues at hand, which is more problematic.
These issues need all races to join the fight. If we truly believe that this is the greatest country in the world, then as a country we need to fix a problem as simple as racial injustice. A problem that Martin Luther King fought over 50 years ago. Everyone should be outraged that we still have these issues.
As a black man in America, I have seen the worse that this country can offer. As a father to a young black boy that will have to grow up in this country, I refuse to be quiet on issues that should have been handled decades ago. I ask those that are critical of these players to ask themselves what does it really mean to be an American? Are the real Americans those that protest for progressive change or those that criticize them for it.