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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20 Signs You Were A High School Cheerleader

You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."
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Cheerleading is something you'll never forget. It takes hard work, dedication, and comes with its ups and downs. Here are some statements that every cheerleader, past and present, know to be true.

1. You always had bobby pins with you.

2. Fear shot through you if you couldn't find your spankees right away and thought you left them at home.

3. You accumulated about 90 new pairs of tennis shoes...

4. ...and about 90 new bows, bags, socks, and warm ups.

5. When you hear certain songs from old cheer dance mixes it either ruins your day or brings back happy memories.

6. And chances are, you still remember every move to those dances.

7. Sometimes you catch yourself standing with your hands on your hips.

8. You know the phrase, "One more time, ladies" all too well.

9. The hospitality rooms were always one of the biggest perks of going to tournaments (at least for me).

10. You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."

SEE ALSO: How The Term 'Cheerlebrity' Destroyed Our Sport

11. If you left the gym at half-time to go get something, you better be back by the time the boys run back out.

12. You knew how awkward it could be on the bus rides home after the boys lost.

13. But you also knew how fun it could be if they won.

14. Figuring out line-up was extremely important – especially if one of your members was gone.

15. New uniforms were so exciting; minus the fact that they cost a fortune.

16. You know there was nothing worse than when you called out an offense cheer but halfway through, you had to switch to the defense version because someone turned over the ball.

17. You still know the school fight song by heart and every move that goes with it.

SEE ALSO: Signs You Suffer From Post-Cheerleading Depression

18. UCA Cheer Camp cheers and chants still haunt you to this day.

19. You know the difference between a clasp and a clap. Yes, they're different.

20. There's always a part of you that will miss cheering and it will always have a place in your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Doug Pool / Facebook

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Don't Be That Ole Miss Fan Who Leaves When Our Teams Need Our Support The Most

While most of the students and some of the fans ditched before the 4th quarter, it really surprised me how little support we showed our struggling team.

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After the beating we took last week from #1 Alabama, we all wanted to steer off the stadium until the next weekend. However, losing to the number one team in the nation shouldn't be depressing; they are number one for a reason.

While most of the students and some of the fans ditched before the 4th quarter, it really surprised me how little support we showed our struggling team. Yes, the game was exciting for a solid 11 seconds, but that doesn't mean that we should abort ship so soon.

I even caught myself wishing they would run the clock around the 3rd quarter, feeling as if this game was never going to end. And it wasn't until the very end of the game that I realized what we had been missing.

We had been missing support for our team. But not just football this weekend but every sport we have. If it isn't one of the big three, do you even care? I know that I didn't and sometimes still don't. Does anyone go to the women's rifle events? Do you know when the softball team plays? Do you even know if we have a hockey team?

Being an Ole Miss fan doesn't mean that we love either football, basketball, or baseball. Being an Ole Miss fan means that we love all three, and every other sport our students participate in.

I've heard from some members of the band that they were so impressed with the Vanderbilt student section, not because they were the rowdiest or best, but because after the football game, they all stayed, stood, and sang to their Alma Mater.

Do any of us even know our Alma Mater? I've met seniors who didn't even know we had one! Yes, its plastered on all the cups this year. Yes, its posted around campus. But do you know it, by heart? If you heard the tune, could you even identify it, much less sing along to it? Do you even know the words?

I'll be the first to tell you that I don't. I have approximately 20 or so cups that have it printed on there, yet I do not know the Ole Miss Alma Mater.

So, when we were getting ready to leave the game, it warmed and saddened my heart when our song played. It warmed my heart to see the remaining student section come together to sing and sway to our Alma Mater, but it saddened me to see how little of people there were to participate, especially since the stadium was packed mere hours earlier.

And if that isn't bad enough, our student section was a quarter empty after the 1st quarter. Imagine being a football player, looking out into the crowd to see your supporters and a quarter of them are gone before the beginning of the 2nd quarter. And every time you look back as the game progresses, more and more are gone until a small portion is left over, cheering you on.

Now, imagine that you are any other athlete in a non-recognized sport. Imagine all the hours you put into training, all the things that you have to miss out on, just for no one to be there supporting you. How disappointed would you feel?

We are an SEC school! We are a big deal! We are in the best conference in the world, competing against some of the best athletes across the country, and as a student and fan of this school, we should show our support not only to the big three but to all of them!

I dare you to branch out and go watch another sport! Stay for the full game, even if it takes all day. Try a new sport, it could be your favorite! Do it for the free t-shirts, do it for the concessions, do it for the free or cheap admissions fee. I don't care why you do it, but be like Nike and "just do it!" That is how we can be better! That is how we can be a better Ole Miss fan!

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