Put Your Hand Over Your Heart

Put Your Hand Over Your Heart

God bless the USA right now, because we need it.

I, like many young people I know, believe in what I believe in because of the values that my parents have instilled in me.

I know that things are different now than they were when my parents are growing up, so I try to listen with an open mind to the views of other people. I don't change my mind in what I believe in because if my mom has failed in every area as a mom, I know that she wants her kids to have good character. Good character and a good reputation is something that I know my brothers and I have always tried to uphold in our lives.

Everyone has probably seen an NFL game at some point in their life. Everyone probably also knows that the game does not begin until after the National Anthem has been sung/played. That being said, I have done some research on the recent NFL protesters.

The protest started last year with NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality. Over the course of the season, other players joined his protest by kneeling, sitting or raising their fists during the anthem.

I don't know about anyone else, but I don't remember this being such a huge controversy last year. Maybe it is because not as many players participated last season, or maybe it is because Donald Trump was not stating his opinions to the extent he is now.

People can bash Trump all they want for tweeting about things and talk about how "politically incorrect" that is, but if Trump didn't tweet his raw thoughts and actual facts, the media would twist it into things he didn't even say.

That is one of the reasons I love Trump's tweets. Nobody can stop him from tweeting what is really going on in the world. Given, Trump is the president and could stand to be more professional with his tweets, that is what America needs –– to stop looking at everything through rose-colored lenses and see it for what it really is.

This season, Kaepernick is not employed by any NFL team (and I am not at all surprised about it).He has not spoken publicly about his movement in months. However, other players have continued to protest during the anthem, and Trump's statements led to widespread protests over the weekend.

Most teams stood by their players' decision to protest. I have major respect for the Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle, Alejandro Villanueva, for being the only player to come out and salute the American flag.

I believe that is because he knows first hand the true value of the American flag, National anthem, and what they both stand for symbolically. What I don't understand is why the NFL players can't find some other way to express their concerns.

NFL players have a very wide fan base. I would imagine if one of them had something to say, they could get others to listen. Why didn't he call a press conference and express his concerns about racial inequality?

Why didn't he express his negative thoughts about the situation instead of causing an even bigger problem by disrespecting our country as a whole? These athletes get paid to play a game.

And on top of that, they are very influential people in today's world. Wouldn't the world be such a good place if all the influential people used their popularity in order for the world to see the good?

I know that different players have different values and that some of them do use their influence for good, but I don't think you deserve to put on a uniform and play a sport on National Television if you can't respect those men and women who put on the most important uniform to be worn by a citizen in the United States.

I know racial equality is real and it exists. I am by no means saying it doesn't. I also know that not everyone agrees with the president. I just want these men that have the opportunity for their voices to be heard to express themselves in a more respectable manner.

The National Anthem kicks off every NFL, MLB, NBA, MLS and NHL game featuring an American team, and is played before every NASCAR race. I believe there is a reason for that.

I think it is played to show admiration and respect for the people who pay the ultimate price (their lives) so that we can even have events like basketball and football games. I am not sure how kneeling during the anthem proves any points as far as racial issues goes.

I do not know how kneeling during the anthem can be the solution to any of the problems that the NFL is facing.

Romans 7:1-2 "Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished."

You don't have to like those governing over you, but God tells us to respect them. In all honesty, I don't know that much about the real situation and I won't lose sleep over it, but we need to wake up and see that this is about something much bigger than kneeling for 120 seconds during a football game to prove a point about race.

I believe in freedom of speech. I believe each player should be allowed to stand up for what they believe in, but they need to find a different way. There are veterans who lost their legs fighting for our country who would give anything to be able to stand during the anthem, so show some dang respect and put your hand over your heart. It really is the least you could do.

Cover Image Credit: instagram

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When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

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

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Tiger Woods' 2019 Masters Victory Means More Than Winning a Tournament

At the 2019 Masters, Tiger Woods defined what a comeback story truly means.


For the last week now I have tried to process the events that transpired in the world of golf. As many of you may know by now, I am a fanatic for Tiger Woods. I have watched as one of the greatest athletes to ever grace this earth fell from his pinnacle. I have watched as he and his family were brutally subject to a national embarrassment. I have watched as one of the greatest athletic bodies in all of golf was twisted and contorted through 4 back surgeries and physical rehabilitation. I have watched as critics and fans alike believed that his professional career was over. That he would no longer be a competitive golfer and that he should just retire instead of trying to recreate something that had gone awry.

Today I can say with the utmost of certainty that this is no longer the case. Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters last week in dramatic fashion. Here are the stats plain and simple. Woods had never won a major tournament after trailing entering the last day of competition. Woods had also not won a major in more than 11 years and his most recent Master's victory was in 2005. Last week, Woods entered Sunday just two strokes behind the leader Francesco Molinari. At the end of the day, Woods won the event.

I have stood by this man's side as a loyal fan for the last 11 years and seen all that he has endured. For me, his victory was unequivocally the greatest moment in all of the sports. Period. There really aren't enough words for me to sum up the magnitude of this event and in the fashion that it took place. I still am speechless a week later. As I sat watching the final round unfold from a live stream on my phone (as I was in a car driving back from Florida), I was in actual tears. I knew that Tiger Woods would be a winner again. What I didn't know is that he was destined to return back to his place in history as the greatest golfer to ever live. The race for Jack Nicklaus 18 major championship victories mark is now back in contention - something that has not been highly considered for the last decade. What Tiger Woods did on Sunday at the Masters is greater than the sport of golf. It goes beyond athletics and winning. It demonstrates the story of grit, relentless toughness in the face of adversity and most importantly, it epitomizes never giving up.

For this current generation of young golfers who grew up idolizing Woods, they saw and heard first hand the return of the roars that followed Tiger every time he stepped onto a golf course. For runner up's Brooks Koepka and Xander Schauffele, they were not mad that they had lost, rather they were happy that Woods had won. They both said in their post-round interviews that the atmosphere and energy that was felt at this tourney was unrivaled to any other sporting event they had played in. It was because of one man, wearing his notorious "Sunday red" as he remained unflappable in the face of his opposition. On the 12th hole, a short par-3 that faces the infamous Rae's Creek, Woods demonstrated his poise and maturity. 5 of the top 6 players in the field hit the ball well short of the hole and landed in the water. The only player not to do so was Tiger who chose to aim well left of the hole and play for par. It was here, with 6 holes left to play that Woods reclaimed the lead. Fans and players were all aware of what was to transpire, they could feel that Tiger was ready to pound.

For me, Tiger Woods' victory will be a moment in my life that I will never forget. More importantly, he unified an entire nation to sit down glued to their televisions and watch the final round play out. I had friends reaching out to me to let me know that they were tuned in to witness history unfold, people who aren't golf fans in the slightest. This demonstrates in the most minimal way possible the magnitude and importance of this win. It was bigger than golf. It was something that young fans and old ones alike will cherish indefinitely. For that, I thank you Tiger Woods. You made all of the moments where we as sports fans wanted to let you go and move on to this new era of talented golfers worth sticking by your side. You brought a country with such polarization and difference together to watch a round of golf. And lastly, you made a fan of yours believe in something bigger than sports, but rather, believe in comebacks and hope. Tiger Woods you will always be my hero.

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