Just when I thought things could not get more foolish, they do.
And I am over it.
You might think I am kidding but I am not.
I. AM. DONE.
I. AM. DONE. WITH. THEM.
The them being the National Football League.
For a while, I have been giving thought to whether or not I would watch NFL games this upcoming season. Some of you may recall that last year after initially saying I was going to watch, I quietly activated my own boycott prompted by the rush of players who decided to take a knee after a certain someone referred to players by a name I shall not repeat.
Do I have a problem with the protesting? Absolutely not. What I had a problem with is the fact that before a certain someone stood behind a podium an hurled insults at the players behind the shield, there were very few who were willing to stand in the line of fire with Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid; especially given the reason they started protesting in the first place.
I was disgusted.
Children, young men and women, middle age men and women and elderly men and women – all whom share the same melanated skin as I do – all across this country are being brutalized by those who have sworn to serve and protect us. Some have even failed to return home as a result.
However, this fact was not enough to prompt the majority of these players to raise awareness by taking a knee. So forgive me, actually you do not have to cause I am not sorry, for not being impressed by the one day “spectacle” from people who have more power than they care to utilize.
I was disgusted.
At the same time, some great things rose from the ashes. True colors started being revealed. And there are not many things that can compare to being able to see a person for who they really are.
Owners got it started. Hey Jerry Jones and Bob McNair. Then the players. Hey Tom Brady! Then of course social media ran with it.
Meanwhile, I occupied my time with other things. I read more. I went outside more. I hung out with family more. I slept more. I planned more. I worked on purposeful things more.
Honestly, I did not miss the NFL. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. It has been a major staple in my life since I was a young child. From September to February, Sundays were always reserved for the NFL.
As I contemplated whether I would watch this upcoming season, I reflected how I have evolved the last few years. I would say roughly four years ago, me not watching the NFL would not have even been an option. I would not have let any controversy that was taking place effect my need for my football fix. I needed that in my life.
But the beautiful thing about life is that every year, just like a tree, you should be growing. And that is what was happening with me. I was growing. I could no longer sit back and be silent about the things that matter. I began embracing the voice that I have that makes people take notice and I realized I had some things I needed to say. Some things that needed to be said. Some things I had to address.
And the more I wrote, the stronger my words became. The more I wrote, the bolder I felt. The more I wrote, the more I knew I could not allow my thoughts to lay dormant.
So I wrote. And I shared my feelings. The raw emotions. The grippling vibes. The fears. The concerns. The insecurities. The uncertainties. They all poured out.
I became unapologectically me.
I was no longer concerned with how my words might be perceived if I address a controversial topic. I was no longer concerned with what people would assume because I spoke my mind. I was no longer concerned with being politically correct.
I had a platform and I was determined to use it.
All these thoughts flooded my mind as I also admitted I missed watching NFL games.
I just kinda contradicted myself, huh?
You ever miss something but at the same time you do not really miss it, you just miss the routine of it?
That was me. Trying to sort out what was really taking place. I missed the routine. I also just missed the professional game period. It is no secret that I love football. I cannot get enough of it so to have a large piece of it removed had me in a space of wanting to fill it back up.
Today is when the NFL announced that all players and personnel are REQUIRED to stand during the anthem if they are on the field.
Seriously, that is what I did because all the NFL did was just make it easier for me to say I am done.
This is ridiculous.
This is not about unification.
This is not about country.
This is not about respect.
This is about money.
This is about power.
THIS. IS. ABOUT. CONTROL.
And the NFL wants to prove that it is still writes the narrative of its players whether they want to admit it or not.
Sure many will point out that players and personnel will have the option to remain inside during the anthem. Sure many will point out that the NFL has committed to providing almost $90 million dollars to organizations focused on social justice reform. Sure many will point out that the DOJ is the one who got this ball rolling in the first place by paying to league to showcase the military.
I could go on and on about this but at this point there is no point. The league has spoken loud and clear: stay in your place, do your job and do not rock the boat. Cause you cannot have the inmates running the prison, right Bob McNair?
Shaking my head.