Stop Making The NFL Into A Political Statement

Stop Making The NFL Into A Political Statement

Keep your protests off the field.

Since the return of the NFL season, I've been hearing multiple complaints regarding the National Football League's treatment of Colin Kaepernick. Many say that the NFL should be boycotted because of its "unfair" treatment towards the ex-San Francisco 49ers player. And from the most recent comments from our President, "kneeling is not acceptable"; those who do should be fired or suspended. I think there are many points to be made from these opposing sides.

First and foremost, Colin Kaepernick and all his supporters has every right written in the Constitution defending their free choice to kneel during the National Anthem. Many who disagree with this notion simply are ignorant because his actions disagree with their political stance, or may disagree because they have a profound patriotism that cannot comprehend someone showing any sign of disrespect to their country, especially during the National Anthem. I not only respect all these opinions and perspectives but understand the rationale to which many view this controversy. It is quite a difficult one to understand, especially if you yourself know or have known someone who gave their life for this country.

Second, it is often neglected that while Colin Kaepernick has individual rights, so does the National Football League have individual rights, as a private organization, as to who is and is not included in their business. Surely, no one deserves a job, let alone a multi-million dollar contract playing professional football. My point being, NFL teams are freely able to hire/remove players they seem fit to their team. Then the question becomes, "Is that really fair?" Should the NFL fire those who disagree with them politically?" From the recent tweets of the President, the NFL should fire anyone who "disrespects our country", but should the President mandate what rights and regulations a private association has when dealing with its employees? Cause while the NFL and its teams have every right to fire a player for causing a "political riff-raff" that contradicts the neutral position of the team, the President mandating what behavior should be tolerated seems to take away those basic liberties.

Third, even though I disagree with nearly everything Kaepernick advocates, I respect his decision to put his knee down, both literally and figuratively, as to what he believes in. I admire the loads of criticism and prejudice Kaepernick has encountered and the true "badass" nature of this motion. On the other hand, I do not even begin to admire the athletes who "stand with" Kaepernick, or the athletes who do not have the guts to do what Kaepernick did. These athletes, including but not limited to Lebron James, Marshawn Lynch, etc., simply say they agree because they want to affiliate themselves with Kaepernick's political agenda, yet they fear the consequences such as losing their contracts with their teams. However, Kaepernick's actions proved to be a "martyr for the cause" as each week, more and more athletes refrain to take the field during the National Anthem.

And finally , stop unnecessarily politicizing everything. Is the football stadium the perfect place to advance your political agenda? Know your audience. If your audience is testosterone-induced men who pay cable-vision hundreds of dollars to watch grown men fight over a rubber ball, we don't care what your political opinions are. This is the main reason why ESPN's ratings and views have declined so rapidly the past couple of years: we want to watch sports and highlights, NOT what the players or commentators think outside of the sports world, especially as unfavorable a topic as American politics. Not everything has to be a political statement. Keep your protests off the field, and play the game you learned and loved without a political bias.

Cover Image Credit: Juliana Cosenza

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20 Signs You Were A High School Cheerleader

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

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.


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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