Talking about the protests going on in the NFL for the last couple years is a real touchy subject for a lot of people on both sides of the discussion—and I get it. I understand. I see the point that people against the protests are trying to make, but I also see the point of the protests.
We are all together, we are all Americans, and it’s time for the racism and bigotry, for those things to go away.
I’ve made it no secret—I support the rights of my teammates and other football players to protest social injustice as they see fit. However, I do not think what they are doing is very effective.
People aren't even getting the point. Players are going out there and making a stand, and you might as well be saying, 'blah blah blah blah blah.' Because people are just seeing you kneel during the national anthem, and they're taking that and closing their ears. And that's unfortunate.
I do think Colin Kaepernick’s intent was pure. His heart was pure, and he was trying to do the right thing. But in our society, you've got to find the right way to do the right thing, so people don't close their ears.
But it did create a conversation, and allowed players to express themselves, and brought awareness to an issue that I don’t think was talked about enough. So, Colin deserves credit for that.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that players should just be playing football and make their statements, do something for the community on their own time. That we are all rich so what do we know.
The majority of these players came from nothing, came from broken homes, low-income families. They worked hard—the American Dream—worked hard from the bottom. They made a lot of money, are making a lot of money, and aren’t just forgetting about what happened before. Aren’t just saying, “Hmm. I made my money. I’m just going to forget about my community. I’m just going to forget where I came from.”
The people that make those complaints, those are people who aren’t really affected by social injustice issues. When it’s not your problem, then it kind of frustrates you that you have to deal with it and that it’s kind of in-your-face. That’s kind of the point of the protests: that people never think it’s their problem, and it’s never a big issue until it’s in your face every day.
What gets lost a lot is that we are not talking about social injustice just for African-Americans. We’re talking about social injustice in general. That has to do with everybody. Hispanics, blacks, anybody who deals with it. Whites, straights, gays. Anything. That’s the thing that people don’t realize. It’s a ton of people in the world.
Maybe people should think more about trying to eliminate social injustice, racism, and bigotry. Then the players would have nothing to protest about.