For the past few months Colin Kaepernick and others have been holding a protest. I’m sure this is not news to most of you. For those of you who don’t turn on a television or read the news, the short version is this: Colin and others (especially those who affiliate with the Black Lives Matter organization) feel that the police are trying to systematically kill black people. In protest of this, they are sitting or kneeling during the playing of the national anthem at sporting events to try to bring attention to the “problem.” The media has been covering these protests almost non-stop (or so it seems). The attitude of the National Football League can be summed up in the words, “What protests?”
First of all, I disagree with the premise. An extended family member (first cousin once removed) of mine is very anti-police, and pro-BLM. He agrees with Colin that there is a problem. I disagree. He listed six, high profile, black people who have been killed in the past few years (including Trayvon Martin, who was killed by a non-white, part black private citizen who was NOT a cop and was defending himself from Trayvon Martin…anyway my point was Martin died four years ago). I listed about 16 police officers who have been shot and killed THIS YEAR ALONE by black people. My point was, maybe it isn’t the police who have declared war on black people. Maybe it’s the other way around.
Secondly, if the Black lives matter crowd wanted to protect the lives of black people, there are organizations and groups of people who have killed way more black people than the police. Here’s two:
1. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. Twenty eight percent of abortions are committed on black babies. Since there are about a million abortions per year, that means that so far this year (ten months in), Planned Parenthood and other abortionists have killed about 230,000 black people. Just slightly more than the amount of black people killed by the police, which, according to the Huffington Post (a liberal news site that is sympathetic to BLM), hit 173 people from January to July of this year.
2. Other Black People. Ninety percent of murdered black people are killed by other black people. According to the FBI, in 2011 (the most recent year I could find with stats compiled) 2447 black people were murdered by other black people. Makes 173 people killed by cops seem insignificant, doesn’t it? But it’s kind of hard for a group to protest against itself. Much easier to point out a group that is different than them (but not always…many of these black people killed by cops were killed by black cops).
And I would hazard a guess that most of the people killed by cops actually deserved to be shot and killed (as in, they were shooting at the police, they were going for their gun to shoot the police, they were about to hurt an innocent victim, etc). Sure, there are cases where black people have been unjustly killed by the police, and in those cases, the police officer(/s) who shot and killed the black person should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But those are probably the exception, not the rule.
Which brings me back to Colin. He’s protesting against injustice, he says. Well guess what, Colin: injustice has been around for thousands of years and isn’t going to be eliminated by you taking a knee while we play the national anthem recognizing that we live in the greatest country on earth and expressing our national pride in those who have sacrificed and died for our freedoms.
And this is why I’ve stopped watching the NFL by and large. For the past several years I’ve watched the NFL whenever I could, because I enjoy it. I watched Sunday afternoons in between church services, Sunday night football, Monday night football, and Thursday night football (when I wasn’t working or doing something else). But this year, I have only watched the Colts games, and I’ve ignored the others. Because I love my country more than I love football. Realistically, my loyalty goes first to God, then my family, then my country, then waaaaay down the list, football. Come to think of it, as I write this, the Colts are about to play, and the Cubs are about to play. I’m going to watch the Cubs. So football is even below baseball on my list.
The NFL is in denial over why their ratings are tanking. Every week this season the ratings come out showing how many people watched NFL games. The numbers started lower than in previous years, and have gone down each week. They say it’s because of the election. Nope. They say it’s because people are cutting cords. Nope. They say it’s because Tom Brady and Peyton Manning haven’t been playing. Nope. Every person I’ve talked to about it has said the same thing: it’s these protests. They make people sick, and quite frankly, angry. I admit to being upset. I’m upset with the protesters for disrespecting the flag and by extension, the United States, but I’m more upset with the NFL, who by ignoring the protests, are doing nothing about it. Even when it is becoming clear that people are abandoning the NFL in droves, they refuse to acknowledge the damage these protesters are doing to their brand. Personally I feel that the NFL should release a statement something like, “While we appreciate the enthusiasm our players have for social issues and the need for equity in our society, from this point on we will be fining each player who does not stand for the playing of the national anthem, due to the damage that player is doing to their own team’s financial well being, with the fine equaling the amount of that player’s game check. We encourage our players to protest on their own time, and not when they are wearing an NFL uniform during an NFL broadcast.”
Until they do that, I will continue severely restricting the amount of NFL football I watch. And so I guess I have to thank Colin Kaepernick and the other protesters, because I have lots of spare time now. Thanks, Colin.