Standing For Something At The Wrong Time

Standing For Something At The Wrong Time

Protests against kneeling NFL players reveals a social hypocrisy.
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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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12 Things Texans Hate About Oklahoma

We all know Texas is the superior state, but just why do we Texans hate Oklahoma so much?
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So, everyone on the planet knows that Texas is indisputably THE BEST state in this glorious country and because of this, we Texans deem every other state inferior. It also may seem that we have a 'rivalry' with Oklahoma (although, it's no contest which state is superior). However, this rivalry is actually more of a disdain and for many good reasons. That being said, here's a list of 12 credible, bona-fide reasons that Texans hate the state of Oklahoma.

1. The Constant Wind

Everyone has heard that the wind is constantly blowing in Oklahoma, but you don’t realize how annoying that is until you live here. You think you walk outside looking good, but the wind is like, “Haha, not today.” Also, it’s not the kind of cool breeze that’s refreshing on a hot day; if it’s cold outside, the wind is freezing cold, if it’s hot outside, the wind is a gust of hot, humid air.

2. No Buc-ee’s

If you haven’t heard of the amazing-ness that is Buc-ee’s, then you are missing out. Buc-ee’s is the most awesome gas station. They have everything, and by that, I mean everything. They even have Comfort Colors tanks with the Buc-ee’s logos, as well as the cleanest gas station bathrooms you’ll find anywhere. Unfortunately, unless you’ve ever driven to south Texas, you’ve possibly never heard of Buc-ee’s, which is a real shame.

3. Narrow Lanes

First off, the roads in Oklahoma are absolutely atrocious. The first grievance on this list is that the lanes are just too small. You think I’m going to be able to fit my dually truck and horse trailer in between these lines? Yeah, I don’t think so, that Prius barely fits.

4. Slow Speed Limits

On the subject of roads, the highways here have an average speed limit of 55. You have to get on a toll road to even have a speed limit of 75. That would not fly in Texas. How do you expect to get anywhere quickly if you have to go 55 mph? That’s child’s play. Texas boasts the highest speed limit in the United States, something we utilize to its full potential.

5. No HEB

HEB, aka the BEST grocery store on the planet, probably in the universe, but I cannot confirm, only has stores in Texas. And even then, the northernmost store is all the way in Burleson. I mean, you can buy Whataburger’s fancy ketchup by the bottle; what more can you ask for?

6. OU

The Red River rivalry is a well-known rivalry between OU (University of Oklahoma- Sooners) and UT (University of Texas- Longhorns). Admittedly, there is a lot of division between Texans on this issue, but if you’re a diehard Texan, then chances are you hate OU simply on principle.

7. Majorly Lacking Major League Sports Teams

As a Texan, we’re used to having our pick of major league sports teams, whether it be football, basketball, or baseball, and trash talking other Texans that root for the rival team is half the fun. All Oklahomans have are the OKC Thunder, and I guess hockey, but who really follows that any way? It’s America, football is king here and baseball is the national pastime.

8. Eternal Road Construction

Road construction is a necessary evil; it’s always going on. However, at least in Texas, you see actual progress. In Oklahoma, roads are cut down to one lane for months on end with no visible progress to be seen.

9. Increased Sales Tax

According to taxfoundation.org, the combined state and average local sales tax rate for 2015 is 8.77% in Oklahoma compared to 8.05 %. This seems like something really petty to add on to this list, but hey, I don’t want the government any more money than it has to. Also, when you start being an actual adult, Texas is one of seven states that does not charge state income tax.

10. No Coastline

Oklahoma is landlocked. For a Texan, whose home state boasts 367 miles of coastline (the 6th highest in the United States), this is stifling.

11. Mite Infestations

Apparently, this past summer and fall, there was an outbreak of mites that like to bite people. They were worse than mosquito bites and quite frankly, a pain in the butt to deal with. If you walked across any patch of grass, chances were you woke up with an itchy, red sore from this microscopic

12. It’s Just Not Texas

Any Texan can tell you, as we are know for our rather fanatic state pride, that there’s just something about Texas that feels like home. And no matter how many great things a city has to be proud of, nothing will ever replace Texas. Everything’s better in Texas and there’s no denying it.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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Love, A True Fan

Yes I love this team, yes they are good, no I do not love them because they are good.

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I love my hometown. It is cute, we have good schools, and the people are generally nice.

What I do not love about my hometown is how close it is to Cleveland.

Don't get me wrong, I love the CLE, I just don't love the Browns.

I can remember being a passionate Steelers fan as far back as the third grade, which means I can also remember people arguing with me about football as far back as the third grade. Growing up being rivals with the home team, especially as a girl, was never easy because everyone just assumed I liked Pittsburgh because they were a good team. They quickly learned that I knew exactly what I was talking about and would quickly put anyone who questioned my knowledge on the sport or the team in their place.

All things considered, I've had a good sports fan life.

Just in my lifetime, I've seen my Steelers play in three Super Bowls, and win two. I've seen the Pittsburgh Penguins play in four Stanley Cup Finals, and win three, and I was at the 2017 Victory Parade. I shared in the happy shock when the Cavaliers came back from being down 3-1 in the NBA Finals and beat the Warriors for the first championship in Cleveland in over 50 years. I watched the Cleveland Indians play in the World Series, and last year I watched one of my favorite college football teams win the SEC, the Rose Bowl, and play in the National Championship.

So yeah, I can see how you'd accuse me of being a bandwagon fan, and why when the Steelers and Penguins both won championships in 2009 the other fifth graders in my class thought I just picked two teams who were good, but that does not mean it is true.

I know my teams, and my sports, well, and honestly, I've grown to love people challenging me on sports. No one expected an elementary school girl to be able to back herself up so well with football knowledge that the boys who actually played football knew they could not win that argument.

Yes, my teams have done well, but I have some connection to all of my teams, whether it be family or where I grew up, and I don't only care that they've won big games (although I'm not complaining).

Everyone tells me that I haven't really experienced what it is like to watch one of my teams struggle, but I have every intention on being just as devoted to my teams through those times as I was when they were winning. I was devoted to the Penguins in December of 2015 when they were thought to not be capable of making the playoffs that year so they fired their coach. I'll still wear my Cavaliers gear, despite the fact that they are struggling without LeBron. I'll be there when the Ben Roethlisberger retires and the Steelers' offense stinks because we never drafted a good back-up quarterback. And I'm already mentally preparing myself for the disaster that could come during this year's SEC Championship between Georgia and Alabama.

So don't take it out on me that your team is having a losing season, because I would love to have an in depth conversation with you about how the Cleveland Browns will never truly be good until they restructure their entire management and stop firing coaches every two years, despite how many Heisman winners they draft. And I'd love to tell you all about how the Penguins will never truly be down and out because Sidney Crosby really is the best player in the world, and I'll tell you why it's not Connor McDavid or Alex Ovechkin.

Here's to Super Bowls, Stanley Cups, and championships of all kinds. Everyone should experience what it's like to see your team win one, but be ready when they do because suddenly everyone wants to question how deep your loyalty runs when they do. But don't worry, I can back up why I love my teams, can you?

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