Protesting: The Talk Of The Year This Football Season

Protesting: The Talk Of The Year This Football Season

The NFL is suffering a ratings drop and the owners have no solution.
9
views

2017 is not your usual NFL season. The Philadelphia Eagles are super bowl favorites, and the Patriots are labeled as one of the worst defenses in the league. The Cleveland Browns are probably the only model of consistency right now as one of the worst operated franchises in professional football, and are currently poised to snatch the first overall pick from San Francisco. There has however been a large political shadow cast over the NFL as of late regarding player protests of police brutality by kneeling for the national anthem. The message started when then San Francisco Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick sat on the bench during the national anthem for all four of the pre-season games in 2016. In late August, Kaepernick elaborated on the reasoning of his protests saying his goal was to essentially provide a voice for the black victims of police brutality who did not have their own voice. After being told from former military that sitting during the anthem could be perceived as a sign of disrespect, Kaepernick then preceded to kneel on one knee on the sideline during the anthem rather than sit. His reasoning is, his message is not to disrespect the military but instead to make a statement about the mistreatment of African American people from the law.

Since those initial protests from Colin Kaepernick, similar acts have been imitated in other sports and have led to an increase in black athletes speaking out against the same things Kaepernick tried to talk about. This phenomenon has polarized the NFL, leading for some to boycott the games entirely and other to commend the athletes trying to improve the lives of people. Recent controversies have arisen over Texans’ owner Bob McNair’s “inmates running the prison” comment, leading to players like Seattle Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman, calling McNair out personally. Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones has gone on record saying that any member of the Cowboys who refused to stand for the anthem would be cut from the team.

The problem with the actions of these owners is they are essentially taking away the free speech rights of the players. The owners want to cover their selves and protect their investments out of a fear that the protests of their players will lead to a significant decrease in ratings. The NFL is a financial behemoth, generating billions in revenue each year. NFL owners and commissioner Roger Goodell have fallen to corporate greed, thanks to the significantly higher financial gain the league generates over all other professional sports leagues in America. Lately however, the NBA has gained distance on the gap and could potentially surpass the NFL if the NFL’s ratings continue to plummet. NFL owners have convinced themselves that the protests are the only reason the ratings are suffering, but the NBA has been on the rise since for years now. The NBA benefits from fans associating with players and their brands more so than the NBA teams themselves. The NFL is the opposite, great players are recognized but they are almost always held in regard to their team. If the NFL refuses to recognize the individual rights of their players, the turmoil will only get worse and the owners will have only themselves to blame.

Cover Image Credit: @pan1c040 on Instagram

Popular Right Now

When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything
38095
views

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.


When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.


Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

To The Coaches Who Almost Ruined Me

I was merely a device that allowed them to get closer to their goal of fame and victory.

60
views

An athlete's body is their weapon. That combined with their mind is responsible for every play, every point, every victory. You protect that weapon with everything in your power. But protection does not ensure lack of injury. Freak accidents occur. Blood is spilled on the floor, ankles break, ligaments tear, brains hit skulls. That is the price an athlete pays.

My body started shutting down when I was twelve-years-old. Somehow puberty had not only given me the usual acne and chest but had blessed me with a multitude of other issues.

My ligaments and tendons were too flexible. I had no cartilage in my knees so my patellas refused to track right. Every joint in my lower extremities ached. Ankles collapsed regularly and randomly. Hips were misaligned and femurs were internally rotated.

What happens to an athlete when the body you were given is slowly breaking down?

You try to stay ahead of what seems to be a losing game. Physical therapy exercises, double knee and ankle braces, leuko tape to keep the patellas in place, kinesio tape wrapped in a spiral around my legs to un-rotate femurs.

You play defense.

Ignorantly enough, I kept playing.

I started sports at age two. I played everything imaginable. Soccer, ballet, basketball, volleyball, softball, t-ball, track, and gymnastics.

When something is ingrained in you, it's not like you can just stop.

No matter how hard your body is telling you no.

Until my freshman year of high school, I held the utmost respect for every coach I had ever played for.

It wasn't that they were kind and nonchalant about winning. They would yell and stomp, and make us run suicides every day.

The thing I took for granted is that they respected me as a person, an athlete.

High school sports taught me two important things.

  1. Never let a coach make you feel like less than a person.
  2. Emotional scars last longer than any fractured bone or torn muscle.

I came home from my first day of high school sports sobbing.

I would categorize myself as a tough individual so crying was not really in my repertoire.

I had never been treated so poorly in my life.

Flash forward to my senior year, I was sitting on a different bench during a different sport with a different coach, feeling the exact same way.

I felt like scum.

I felt worthless.

Along with the multitude of my pre-existing conditions my high school sports career was plagued with injuries.

Freshman year, I fractured the growth plate in my ankle.

Sophomore year, I received a severe concussion (my second) and went uncleared for ten months.

Junior year, I was diagnosed with a patella, ACL, MCL tear. Thankfully, the patella was the only thing actually torn.

Senior year, I received my third concussion and sprained my ankle so badly the bones inside hit each other.

I never finished a full sports season.

As I look back and reflect upon my experiences I realize that to those coaches, I was merely a tool.

I was not an athlete.

I was not a person.

I was merely a device that allowed them to get closer to their goal of fame and victory.

And what do you do with a device that's broken?

You throw it away.

I'd like to think that if I had realized how little my coaches thought of me back then, I would have quit. But I can't be sure. I loved sports so much I was willing to put my body in harm's way every single practice, every single game.

To them, it didn't matter if I was an asset off the court or field. If I wasn't scoring or defending, I was dead weight.

I listened to the comments one coach made on the sideline while I dutifully sat on the bench, injured, screaming my lungs for my teammates who could actually play.

"Pathetic."

"Disgusting."

"Suck."

These were just a few of the words that he uttered to himself during a game.

I remember thinking how old is this man? Why is he so immature? Does he have any respect or kindness at all?

I thought back to earlier in the game when I had comforted a teammate who he had pulled out of the game, aggressively chastised, and left her to sob incoherently on the bench.

I somehow tried to explain to the underclassman to not take it personally and that I'm sure he didn't mean it and blah blah blah.

"Why is he so cruel?" she gulped, tears flooding down her face onto her jersey.

I had no answer.

Flashback to the day of my second and worse concussion. I knocked myself out and woke up in a pool of my own blood, with the concerned and terrified faces of my teammates looking down on me.

I didn't know what had occurred right until later when a teammate reached out to me.

After I left the court, stained with blood and shaking, my coach came onto the court and before they had even cleaned my pool of blood from the floor, he said to my teammates, "Wow, she will really do anything to get out of running the mile (our conditioning)."

I wasn't cleared for ten months and I would have run a mile every single damn day of those ten if it meant I had no more headaches, no more tests, no more doctors visits.

After your body breaks, the coaches have no use for you. You're worthless.

And I started to believe that I really was.

My entire high school career I had people telling me that without my body and athletic ability I was nothing.

However, I don't recall an athletic session of the SAT.

I didn't have to run a damn mile to get into college.

No amount of suicides could have helped me pass organic chemistry and make the dean's list.

There is still so much pain when I look back on the experiences I had with those coaches who made me feel meaningless and stupid. But now I look back and think--

Yes, I have scars, physical and emotional. But those will heal and remind me to treat people with kindness and compassion.

And well, those coaches...those coaches will always be assholes.

A special thanks to all the amazing coaches who actually treated me like a real person. Thank you: Tracy Speer, Kathy Baehl, Heidi Kleinrichert, Julie McNamara, Deb Brough, Chris Brough, Joe Leja, Rebecca Merriam, Scott Shipman, Stuart Oberley, Bernie Lohmuller, Dave Schultheis, Phil Schultheis, and Mike Stoffel.

Thank you for believing in me.

Related Content

Facebook Comments