Standing For Something At The Wrong Time

Standing For Something At The Wrong Time

Protests against kneeling NFL players reveals a social hypocrisy.

It is no surprise that today’s political and social climate is filled with high tension and polarized sides. It’s cliche and repetitive, but the root of many of these issues revolves around misplaced judgment and hypocrisy. One of the highlighted issues right now is players kneeling during the national anthem.

Quick background

During the 2016 NFL season, quarterback Colin Kaepernick (now unemployed) began kneeling during the national anthem as a symbol to remind the nation of the oppression and prejudice minorities face in this country every day. While he has been criticized, players from most teams joined him in kneeling for the anthem. Across the country, from the NFL to JV High School football sidelines, players were kneeling for the anthem.

Those who disapprove letting the players kneel during the anthem have started grand motions to boycott the NFL. The Facebook page, “1,000,000 Americans Boycotting the NFL” has built up a cult following with 101 thousand followers (ironic, but that is beside the point). Publications such as Breitbart push for similar movements boycotting the NFL. The highest liked comment on a Breitbart Facebook post regarding players kneeling during the anthem went as far as calling the NFL the “N***** Football League.”

People are up in arms in the protest against the kneeling of the anthem. A majority of these so-called “boycotters” are predominantly older white men and women. The fierceness and passion they have exhibited against the anthem kneelers is almost to the point at which it is admirable. But my question is- why fight for this?

These NFL boycotters and protesters claim to fight for a better and more proud America. However, where were these people when multiple videos of unarmed minorities were slaughtered at the hands of poorly trained police officers? Where were they when white supremacists were marching down the streets of Charlottesville? Where were they when our President called several predominantly black countries, “s***hole countries?” Where was their uproar and vocality when clear injustices were happening on a seemingly regular basis?

The fact that so many people are willing to get so much more fired up about NFL players protesting the anthem as a reminder for the oppression against minorities in this country is outright disturbing. If one thinks that white privilege is not a thing and that minorities are not treated fairly here then they need to get outside of their bubble of ignorance.

Luckily, our President of seemingly unprecedented moral character had the opportunity to unify this increasingly polarized nation with one thing we can all agree on: Nazis and white supremacists are bad. But wait, Mr. Trump tossed the American people a curveball with his comment that there were “some very fine people on both sides,” when talking about the marches in Charlottesville. In such a time where political parties are so polarized and tensions are flaring regularly, one would hope that the leader of the nation could at least unify the nation with the disapproval of Nazis.

The President was at least able to use some strong words against one controversial group: Anthem protesters, calling them “son of a b****[es].” Some of these players have overcome unbelievable hardships and upbringings to succeed at the highest level of the sport they love. But it is nice to know that our President has stronger words for those protesting for equal treatment in this nation than literal Nazis.

Political activism, especially from both sides, builds our democracy and often leads to change for the better. I think it is fair to argue that there are more effective and compelling ways to be a catalyst for social change than kneeling at a football game. But when people are so focused on attacking the moral character of those who feel oppressed in the very same nation they call home, then problems arise.

Everyone is not going to agree on everything. But when it is on the matter of social justice and fair treatment of all, then there should be no argument.

Cover Image Credit: Adrian Curiel

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7 Things That Annoy Volleyball Players More Than Anything

How to get under a volleyball player's skin in two seconds.

I'm not sure why but volleyball players are a very particular group of people — we like what we like and we HATE what we don't, especially when it is volleyball-related. If you're a volleyball player, I'm sure you can relate to this list and if you're not a volleyball player, now you know exactly how you will be able to get under our skin.

1. Girls who wear spandex in public

Don’t get me wrong, we wear spandex for a living. We understand WHY people wear them to workout. But wearing them to the dining hall, class or anywhere that isn’t the gym… please don’t. Put on some shorts or leggings — PLEASE.

2. The “I’ll beat you in volleyball” line

For some odd reason when someone who likes you finds out that you play volleyball, they say this. I’m not sure why, but its really annoying that people think they’re better than you (a collegiate athlete) at the sport you’ve been playing your whole life.

3. When guys mention that they only come to your games because you wear spandex

You’re right, why would any appreciate our athletic ability when you can simply appreciate our butts.

4. Freshman who don’t think they have to do their Freshman duties

PSA: Every single school has freshman duties; YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY FRESHMAN WHO HAVE TO DO THEM. Everyone has done them when they were a freshman. Stop complaining, do your duties, and play volleyball because after your freshman season you’ll never have to do it again.

5. When people try to tell you that volleyball isn’t hard

Why don’t you jump for three hours straight and throw your body on the ground hundreds of times and tell me how easy it is.

6. The word "spike"

I honestly feel bad about hating this so much but nothing nothing NOTHING annoys us more than when someone uses the work "spike". For some reason this word went out of style a longgggg time ago and nobody got the memo except the people in the volleyball world. Instead of telling your friend that they had a good spike, tell them that they had a great "hit." HIT = SPIKE.

7. Balls that aren't perfectly blown up

Volleyball players are hands down the most high maintenance group of people when it comes to our sport. I will go through an entire ball cart to find the best ball possible... if the ball is flat, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad. If the ball is too hard, no matter what contact you make it is going to be bad.

Cover Image Credit: Sam

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Out With Old, In with New [Soccer Teams]

FIFA 2018 Brings Unforeseen Emotions, Sets New Heights in Russia


June 14 was not just an ordinary Thursday. For over 32 nations and millions of people worldwide, that was the beginning of their own Hunger Games: the 21st FIFA World Cup. I, too, was in ecstasy to see young men fight in a battle for athletic superiority and the chance for their nation's flag to be held high so everyone could see. However, as the matches progressed and the brackets tightened, the only positive aspect of the tournament was the hilarious, witty Volkswagen and Bud Light commercials.

Every 4 years, FIFA, the International Federation for Football, host the World Cup tournament in a different nation based on a bid. The most recent tournament in 2014 was hosted in Brazil, and Germany was crowned the champion after a very slight defeat against the Argentinians led by Lionel Messi.

This year, Russia got the winning bid to host the World Cup in stadiums throughout the western part of the country. Some of the stadiums were located in cities such as Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan, Kaliningrad and Saransk to name a few. As the host, Russia received the opportunity to play in the cup and fared out really well in the competition.

Coverage by FOX News and ESPN gave me the opportunity to relish an athletic marvel from the comfort of home. As the days went by so did my hopes for the expected countries to reign supreme. Early on in the tournament, Lionel Messi's leadership made his team crumble apart right away in the Round of 16 against Paul Pogba and the French. Likewise, Cristiano Ronaldo's predictable angles for shooting goals left the Portuguese surprisingly devastated in the Round of 16 as well against Suarez's uncanny victory for Uruguay.

As the tournament progressed, the stakes got higher and the geographic strength of narrowed. By the Quarterfinals, the goal-shooting prowess eliminated Latin America, with Brazil being the last to go, such that the tournament became an exclusively European club. The quarterfinals ignited the shots that shocked the world because, for the first time in FIFA history, neither Brazil nor Argentina qualified for the semi-finals.

In the European circuit, Belgium, Russia, and Croatia showed all of their might against unfamiliar faces throughout the month. Belgium was undefeated throughout the tournament until losing in the semifinals to France; Russia shined rather bright until their head was slain by the Croatians for a seat in the finals against France.

The ultimate battle will unveil itself to the world in just a few days, so we will see who reigns supreme: the French or the Croatians on July 15. It will be a game like no other.

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