Are we still bitching about Kaepernick?

A while ago (at least over a year ago,) USA Today reporter Brent Schrotenboer created a database that included arrest data for NFL players dating back to at least the year 2000.

Now I don’t follow football and I don’t give a tin shit about the NFL (or Nike, for that matter) but I DO care about all the thinly veiled racism, deliberate ignorance, and privilege I see being bandied about.
Of course many of these crimes are misdemeanors and the player list includes all players going back to like 2000. But you can check by year, team, and position.
This is a good source. It is, legit, just stats, no partisan opinion one way or the other. But you can draw your own conclusions. These are mine.  I am not suggesting every person who commits a crime, even a “small one,” should lose their jobs or positions.  BUT …. the fact the players who committed more serious crimes like domestic violence, bomb threats, and eluding police are still allowed to play is one thing. The fact that they are also able to do so without the “patriotic” public making a stink, boycotting the NFL, or calling for their individual blackballing of the players speaks volumes to me.  Only a week or so after the Nike ad featuring Kaepernick dropped, tantruming adult-toddlers are calling for boycotts of Nike, burning their Nike gear (prompting one online comedian to troll that he was a  Trump supporter who had burned his own Nikesto his feet).  And all of this petulant floor stomping actually may have affected Nike.  (Then again, some sources are reporting a rise in Nike’s online sales since they announced Kaepernick as the new face of Nike.)
Either way, all the fuss and anger of a man kneeling for a song in the “land of the free” is such hypocritical bullshit.  All of this over a black man who dared not stand for an anthem?  I am tired of people making excuses. Is domestic violence more “American” than kneeling in peaceful protest? Because that’s how these very vocal band of boycotters and complainers make it seem.  These people are ragging on athletes who “get rich for doing what they love”, are “ingrates”, and are “not being paid to protest.”  It almost sounds like they like their strong black men playing sports for public entertainment but otherwise keeping their mouths shut.
Now I have already touched on my opinions on this “to stand or not to stand” issue.  But what I forgot to mention in that post was that I have heard the argument that it is disingenuous for a rich, successful black athlete to protest an issue that many people see as not being “their problem.”  But to me, that logic is fallacious on two levels.  Firstly, this is usually spoken by a white person who has no idea of the black experience, rich OR otherwise.  And for them to assume that just because a person is wealthy that they may not face discrimination is …well, not their goddamn place for one thing.  The second reason this argument falls short is just this:  for EVER we have had famous or wealthy celebrities and athletes as spokespersons for everything and anything.  Obviously paid spokesmanship for a product is different from a cause, but many celebrities have lent their voices (and often their money) to charities and causes dear to them, from Alicia Silverstone for PETA, Alyssa Milano for UNICEF, Arnold Schwartzenegger for Special Olympics to Lebron James and Kaepernick himself (once and for all putting to rest the assertion by bitching flag worshipers that he doesn’t really care about the cause, that he isn’t “putting his money where his mouth is.”)
Anyway, as usual, I digress. The bottom line is there is nothing more American than protest, and the people pissed about Kaepernick and Nike are also exercising their right to protest, in the form of boycotts.  But wouldn’t their time and energy be better spent is “putting their money where their mouths are” to help come up with a solution instead? Or even if (in their infinite privileged wisdom) they don’t believe in the cause or “problem”, focusing their energy on one of our country’s many other plights?  Perhaps they could give away all their Nike gear to all the homeless vets they only ever seem to care about when they (the vets) can be used as an excuse to keep out immigrants or “reform” welfare.
Lastly, I’m sorry to my regular readers that I haven’t blogged in a while. Part of it is really just mental exhaustion.  I think about this stuff a lot of the time, but the idea of sitting and slogging though my thoughts and feelings in order to articulate them is overwhelming.  I could say I have been busy (I have) but there is always time for writing.  I just haven’t felt motivated to do it.   Also, pardon me for turning off the comments for this post.  I just don’t have the mental bandwidth for the inevitable trolls that follow posts like this.  It’s overwhelming enough dealing with people in our lives daily who think what is going on now is not a problem.
As always, thanks for reading and have a blessed day. ❤
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To Stand or Not to Stand…is not the question

Okay, no fancy pics or cool links, just uncut, unvarnished opinion.

This NFL anthem ruling:

 I am sure I have touched on this before, after the initial “scandal” of Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem, and I know people on both sides of this “anthem” debate. I have heard people say “it’s a job, and you follow the rules of the job or suffer the consequences.” I have heard, said, and still agree with the idea that freedom of speech does not guarantee freedom from consequence. However, I would say there are a few important questions or ideas we need to acknowledge in regards to this debate. 
1) Where do we draw the line between “consequences” of free speech at one’s job and one’s job violating one’s rights? For instance,a person’s job could put anything they want in the handbook, and the employees can sign that handbook. But that changes nothing in regards to actual law. A company can’t violate worker rights just because it’s in their handbook and workers theoretically “agree” to it. To relate this to the current issue, the opinion that “if you play for the NFL you agree to stand for the anthem” is suspect at the least, because, in my opinion. forced patriotism is only one step less tacky (and unconstitutional) as forced religion. But I guess that’s what we have to nail down. Are forced expressions of patriotism unconstitutional?
Secondly, I understand patriotism and love of country is an important issue for many, but I disagree with idea that because someone chooses this as a form of protest, it means they intend to disrespect their country, veterans, etc.   I have quite a bit of military family and friends, so I would not take disrespect to them lightly.  A lot of the veterans I have encountered claim they “fight” for the country, not the flag, and they fight for a man’s right to “kneel” even if they don’t agree with it.  THAT is freedom.  But for all the people determined that protesters and those of us who support them are intent on disrespecting vets, the second pertinent question in regards to this topic for me is,
2) WHY are so many people more riled up about “disrespect to the flag” (an inanimate object) than the disrespect to the people that are part of the make up the country which the flag supposedly represents? Maybe if more people were as vocal about cases of police brutality as they are about players kneeling, this would not even be an issue.  I have an idea why…but I doubt there’d be any more people willing to cop to it than there are the existence of white privilege.  But if people who say “Well, you can protest, just do it another time” aren’t a perfect example of white privilege, I am not sure what is.  To think we have the right to tell someone else when they should protest about something that doesn’t affect us, (blissfully unconcerned by the possibility that we could be shot or beaten to death by a cop on a routine traffic stop or call out) is a shame.