Football. The American version. Not the one that every country gets to revel in, but just American Football. It's just a sport right? Something silly to pass the time, or just something that we make fun of. I make fun of it, all the time, even though my younger brother plays it like it's the only thing in his life that matters. It's still funny to think that thousands of Americans gather around TV sets on Sundays to watch people physically injure each other for fun.
For our entertainment.
But for some, it's just a sport. It's a way to send a message that players can't be penalized for, and they know it. Teams like the St. Louis Rams, back in 2014, historically walked onto the field with their hands up, displaying the very message "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" in the wake of the Ferguson protests. The team itself cannot get in trouble for their actions because without the team playing, fans would become outraged.
It's not just a sport.
Football players display a lot of heart and character. They are good people and not just boys hitting each other with helmets and pads for a paycheck. They are people with a voice.
Colin Kaepernick was the most recent example of using his voice for something bigger than himself. By sitting down during the national anthem, he got people to talk. Both good and bad, but he knew what he was doing. He knew that he carries the weight of being a role model for so many young boys, and by doing what he though twas right, he is showing that everyone has a voice.
When I see my brother watching football, I know he's watching people who will help him understand who he wants to be. It gives me a sense of pride to know that these players are giving him someone to connect to, someone who is using their voice to help make the world a better place.
Football is not a just sport.
Football is a way to help people learn that they too can stand up for social issues if they so want. Football is more than just an American past time, it's a way to communicate.
It's more than just a game.