“Train up a child in the way he should go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.
Last night the after effects from last Sundays NFL wide protest were in full effect across the nation on high school fields as young men were raising fists and taking knees just like their heroes. The multi-million making football players and those that are making the rookie minimum of $465,000 are now even more influential on our youth because they are concerned about social justice now.
Our youth are blind to what kind of people these athletes are behind the scenes because of the glare of their fame. Sociologist Charles Payne, professor of African-American and urban studies at Northwestern University: “If you were to go through baseball’s or football’s Hall of Fame, you’re not going to come up with a bunch of choirboys.” Why are these young impressionable young folk so enamored with these men playing a kids game for more money than most people can make?
Like it or not, they have a power of influence on worshipful young fans multiplied by the huge factor of television-perhaps even more so among the minority poor, who have few other avatars of success to excite their hopes. NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley made headlines in 1993 when recording a commercial in which he said, “I’m not a role model. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.” If a child has to go outside of the dining room table for a role model the problem is not with the athletes it is in the home.
Two football players from Victory & Praise Christian Academy were told to turn in their uniforms for protesting during the national anthem. One of the young men raised a fist and the other took a knee during the anthem. The coach, a Marine and pastor, asked them to turn in their uniforms and informed they were no longer a part of the team. The coach held a meeting prior to the game about protesting and offered suggestions like take a knee after scoring or writing papers and handing them out to get your ideas out there. The coach said he thought he had an agreement with his player. The mother of one of the players and the aunt of the other player said, “I’m definitely going to have a conversation because I don’t like the way that that was handled,” She further went on to say, “But I don’t want them back on the team. A man with integrity and morals and ethics and who truly lives by that wouldn’t have done anything like that. Actions speak louder than words. So, for him to do what he did, that really spoke volumes and I don’t want my kids or my nephew to be around a man with no integrity.” There was no word from the father.
Courtesy of ABC news and YouTube
Did I mention that the coach started the church-based football program in Crosby six years ago. The coach said, “I believe the kneeling offends people and veterans who have fought for this country and takes away from the focus on the issues. That just doesn’t fly and the entire team was informed of how I felt. I don’t have any problem with those young men. We’ve had a good relationship. They chose to do that and they had to pay for the consequences.”
The protest for unity has caused nothing but division in the nation. Former NFL quarterback Colin Kapernick is the face of this protest and carries some baggage many find hard to forget. Kaepernick is quoted as saying if anyone is “OK with people being treated unfairly, being harassed, being terrorized, then the problem is more what they’re doing in their lives …” and then defended Fidel Castro to the heavy Cuban populated Miami area. He wore socks depicting cops as pigs and condones a group who cries out, “What do we want? Dead cops!! When do we want them? NOW!”
There is too much involved with this protest for people to see the other side unbiased. NFL players you say it is not against the flag or vets but that is how many, many people are taking it. It is not what you may intend but it is how it is being received. Try bringing unity back to our stadiums, our high schools with a different method; ask for a moment of silence AFTER the anthem, gather as teams at mid-field and pray for a unified nation. Maybe go on ride-a-longs with the police in your area to see both sides and influence both sides.
We need to model what we want from our youth, on both sides of this issue. This is most important in our homes; it is the dining room table thing again. Stop pushing our kids to run like Lynch or throw like Brady. How about pushing the kids to act like MLK or serve like Mother Theresa. Who knows? In twenty years maybe kids are aspiring to be like your child because they did all four.