I didn’t realize the National Anthem was a banger, NFL

Remember how Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the United States National anthem in 2015 because he was protesting about African-Americans and police brutality? Kaepernick was first sitting during the anthem, but then, started a taking a knee along with former teammate Eric Reid during the anthem, as part of his peaceful protest.

He then also backed up his protest by raising money ($1 million)  to various causes and communities across the country, becoming a hero and an actual “patriot” for many for standing up for what he believed in, unless you’re in a certain base.

Kaepernick is still looking for work, while horrible backup quarterbacks continue to be signed. Even Robert Griffin III got signed by the Baltimore Ravens this off-season, and the last we saw him, he was stinking it up for the Cleveland Browns two seasons ago. 

The narrative about Kaepernick has been written in numerous articles about how he’s a bad quarterback, and that he was asking for too much money. This narrative has been proven to be wrong this week because most teams in 2016 saw Kaepernick as a starting quarterback, if not a guy who should be on a roster. Due to the fact that Kaepernick has a pending case about all 32 NFL teams having collusion not to sign him, I doubt he’ll play in the NFL again. 

Players across the NFL started protesting with Kaepernick about the part of racial injustice, while giving their money (and time) to assist those in these various communities who wouldn’t have a voice. I wrote a blog about how the current President of the United States hates how people “disrespect” the anthem and the flag, which led to misinterpreting a known message by the majority of individuals who don’t watch Fox News every five minutes.

The current president then turned this into a wild weekend in September where he called out these players at some rally and believes that if you exercise your free speech during the anthem, you should be deported (This is the same president that said Nazis were very fine people back in August). 

Yesterday, in a less than stunning fashion, the NFL owners voted for its players to either come out and stand for the anthem, or stay in the locker room during it played. But if you’re out there, you’re going to stand for the anthem and respect the flag because if you dare protest during it, it’s a 15 yard penalty and fined by the league (I’ve been laughing at this for the last 24 hours).

Dan Rooney, the guy who has a rule in the NFL that African-American coaches be INCLUDED in head coaching interviews (you really can’t make this up), said that the gestures such as a raising a fist and linking arms would be considered disrespectful. 

I’ll repeat this for those who probably scrolled and nodded in the beginning —

The protests were NEVER about the national anthem. It was never about the flag. It was never about the military. It was about protesting for African-Americans who continue to be harassed by police officers across this country because of the color of their skin. If the NFL cares about patriotism, then maybe they should started by not accepting payments from the Department of Defense to display their sense of patriotism.

The NFL doesn’t give a shit about patriotism. The NFL doesn’t give a shit about the military. The NFL doesn’t give a shit about breast cancer. The NFL doesn’t give a shit about domestic violence. The NFL doesn’t give a shit about its players because if they did actually care about their players, they wouldn’t have organized this without them yesterday, the players would have guaranteed contracts, and the dreaded Thursday night games would be discontinued due to safety concerns. 

But –

The NFL gives a shit about money.

That’s all owners like Jerry Jones see. Dollar signs. I’ve learned that the owners and people upset about the anthem protests were never mad about the national anthem. I’m generalizing here, but most people upset about the anthem protests probably were buying beer at the concession stands during games, or sitting down on their couch because the National Anthem doesn’t slap (Vince Staples, salute to you).

Most were/are upset because of the message behind it, which, well, this is America, you know, the same country that has a school or mass shooting every six weeks and wonders how it could have been avoided.

I don’t know what’s going to happen this fall with the NFL – well that’s a lie. The ratings will continue to be high. People like myself will probably draft a fantasy football team (I might retire though) just to keep the eyes tuned on it. I’ll still have my eye on my favorites like Juju Smith-Schuster, Adoree Jackson, Odell Beckham Jr, Sam Darnold, and the goat himself, Baker Mayfield.

But as for watching a full game and actually caring? Man, I don’t know. I’m not here to be the moral police, but NFL games have been TERRIBLE in the past three years. You’d be a fool not to believe it. 

The NFL and its owners have the belief that they created a solution when in fact, the owners created a messier situation than they needed to because they want to silence their athletes. Texans owner Bob McNair said in a meeting months ago compared the players to “inmates,” and how these same inmates should not be running the asylum. He made those comments over a protest for people, specifically African-Americans not to be brutalized by police officers. Tone deaf. 

If the original message that Kaepernick had was about the military and how as a country, we should take better of our veterans, then the NFL and it’s fake patriotism ass would have 25 minute gestures before games.

A simple solution would have been not bring this issue back into the limelight if this was uncomfortable for the majority of these owners. Nobody was really paying attention to it anymore. Instead, the NFL created a situation that is a lose-lose for them, aligned themselves as a pinata to the President, and when it goes south in the long run, they’ll have nobody to blame but themselves for terrible crisis management. 

When will “thoughts and prayers” be more than “thoughts and prayers?”

Yesterday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida shouldn’t affect me. I don’t have a reason to feel this grief, this sadness, and pain for individuals I don’t know – but yet, I woke up this morning feeling this grief about what I’m reading, which saddens me about the current state of society here in America.

According to the news media, there have been 18 school shootings (counting yesterday)  in less than 50 actual days within the new year. If you’re also keeping track at home, that’s literally a little more than 30 actual school days. Now some are trying to debunk this, and you know, whatever floats your boat to take away from problem. The point stands. It’s one too many.

Am I surprised the shooter in this case was influenced by a white supremacist group? I’m really not. Nothing rarely surprises me anymore.  These things have been normalized to the point now where I bet you can recycle this blog in about 3 weeks. 

I remember Sandy Hook back in 2012 because I had a doctor’s appointment and was appalled reading the news on my phone. Some of you reading this probably remember what happened at Columbine in 1999 (I vaguely remember that, but I was 6 and I do remember being in elementary school doing lockdown drills for awhile after that. Shoutout to Olympic View!).

Sandy Hook was the peak of the school shooting & gun control issue in America. When a bunch of children die, and the response is “well this is a hoax because President Obama and the left want gun control,” then we should have known that it was always going to be “thoughts and prayers” because people love claiming the 2nd amendment although… it’s a little bit outdated.

The phrase “thoughts and prayers” irks me at times, especially when it comes from the people we elect. I’m not saying they can’t have “thoughts and prayers,” but at some point, the “thoughts and prayers” you supposedly are sending to the families and victims should result in action. Action that should have began with laws years, if not almost two decades ago.

Nobody is saying “take away all of the guns” (well some are), but in a country where these events happen more than anybody wants them to, maybe we should talk about having regulations instead of waiting for another event to happen so we can muster up the same talking points instead of actually giving a shit about who these things happen to.

I just, I don’t know man.

I’m not a politician, nor do I want to be (although Brent, Jake, and myself would be a hell of a trio in the White House). However, something is going to have to give. Either we as citizens actually hold people accountable who get paid to create some type of laws as they sit and tweet “thoughts and prayers”  or we continue to reach the same fate every 10-15 days, asking ourselves “another school shooting?”

I can’t say this enough. We can only be the change we want to see. Take action. Be responsible before it’s too late.

….. ouch america pt 2

I was going to avoid this topic about Donald Trump, Charlottesville, and everything that went down over the weekend.  Then today happened. The last time I tragically wrote about Donald Trump was November 10th, two days after he was elected without him even knowing what the three branches of government were. It’s August, and I’m still fascinated by the events of his election.

Today, the President of the United States of America defended Neo-Nazis and White Supremacy in a press conference, a day after he read one of the most ridiculous statements off of a teleprompter to claim that he didn’t defend them in order attempt to somehow salvage how his original statements, which claimed support for these same groups on Saturday. The similar statements from Saturday to now is how he truly feels.

For me, this isn’t surprising. If you’ve ever talked to me about 45, I’ve openly spoke about how racist I think he is. Facts back up my claims too, and it didn’t have anything to do with his ridiculous ass statements he made during his campaign about every race but the Caucasian one. If you’re curious, google “Donald Trump and Central Park 5.” A lot of you told me in my face that “Trump was kidding” or  “He doesn’t mean everything he says, he’s just saying that to get voters.” If you’re reading this and you found yourself saying this, you gotta take the L here. The joke is on you today.

What we saw over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia was embarrassing, and reached loser mentality. White supremacists protesting a Robert E. Lee statue, a man who was a loser war general never seizes to amaze me. Moving from Washington State to the Northern Virginia area for school (again, I might add), I never understood the love for the confederate flag. In this age of not giving children participation trophies, Lee having a statue for losing a war is as big of a participation trophy you can get. You can’t wave a confederate flag then claim you love America, sis. That’s not how this works.

Obviously, I am a black male. I’m disturbed by these “Unite the Right” rallies. I’m also confused too. Why are straight white males upset so much that they want to have this ethnic cleansing? What have minorities done to you? For one day, they should try to be in my shoes. It ain’t all roses and cupcakes here. For a time on Saturday, I laughed at the fact that police supposedly “left” the rally because it got too “rowdy” for them. I’ll keep it in perspective here. A black lives matter protest march gets tear gassed, and police show up in riot gear. These Neo-Nazis and white Supremacists showed up Charlottesville looking to kill. Showing up in armor, and weaponry as a scare tactic, then not being arrested, let alone shot for doing so is wild. Even the dude who killed the young lady protesting was somehow “apprehended.” He was probably also given Burger King too (A Dyllan Roof reference).

People sympathizing with those who claim to be Nazis is the most baffling shit I’ve seen on the internet. The more I listen and watch the news, the more I’m convinced our education system in America has failed us. We were taught in school that Nazis were trash. We literally had to fight a war in the 1940s, you know, a World War over Nazis.

Which links this back to Trump;

Trump has condemned Muslim bombings that weren’t even in the states claiming we need “stronger borders.” He’s talked poorly about Mexicans, claiming they’re bringing in “all of the drugs.” He’s retweeted fake news stories about black people in relation to violence. But when it comes to domestic terrorism here which involves people who follow David Duke, Richard Spencer, etc, it’s both sides to the issue who are in the wrong? Really? Way to show your true colors, Donald.

There are two ways that this can be settled in history. One, a lot of you just stay silent and allow a race war to occur, which will then have you write on facebook and twitter that you’re “praying for peace.” Which is fine. Do whatever you please. The other way is to be vocal and condemn this, while still being able to “pray for peace.” It’s okay to do both. A lot of people think this a political issue. Dude, nah. We can disagree politically. I’ll respect that. But when it comes down to humanity, and the defense of Nazis and White Supremacy….. that’s where you lose me. Don’t be on the wrong side of this one.

Be vocal.

Condemn this.

Before it’s too late.

 

 

I’m mad.

This isn’t about #ProsperSeason. This isn’t about sports. I just felt like I needed to get this down somewhere, and of course, I have a blog. If you disagree with my feelings, fine.  I could care less. If you agree with it, fine. I’m good with that too.

I’m mad.

Not about sports. Not about my personal life. But this Trayvon Martin thing has me mad.

When I say mad, I mean it as that I want to do something about it. Most people want to riot. But what’s a riot going to solve? Maybe I’m from the old school because my grandparents raised me on some different values so call me old-fashioned, but violence isn’t the answer to solve problems. Violence is how Martin’s life was ended. Violence is how a lot of lives in this country of ours end.

My question is this: When are we as people going to be better to ourselves? When are we going to rise up, and stop the terrorism in our own country?

Most people won’t understand how I’m feeling, and you know what? Fine. I don’t want you to understand it.  But,  just imagine if this situation happened to a family member or a friend. Would you be mad? Would you want to change how us as people are?  Any child of any race could have died that night, and I, personally would still be upset. Wanna know why? It’s a child. A child. We don’t know what happened that night, and I’m not going to assume. It’s possible George Zimmerman was afraid of Martin. It’s possible Martin said something to set him off. We don’t know, and we’ll never know. But you know what happened? A child is dead because of….. violence.

All I’m saying is this: as people, we need to rise up and be better to each other. Enough of the violence. Enough of the hurt and hatred towards each other. This is America. Not Black America. Not White America. Not Asian America. Not Mexican America. Maybe I’m asking for too much from us as American people. But, damn. I’m sick of it. I’m tired of  these types of crimes in America. I’m tired of watching the news and seeing someone dead.

And no, I didn’t write this because Trayvon Martin was a black male. I know how some people think, and that’s sad.  This is about us as people being better. It’s time to stop the violence.

Just, God. I’m asking you this.

Help us. Help us be better as people because this needs to end. Enough is enough. We have to be better.

Amen.

Never Forget.

September 11, 2001 was a change not only in my life, but in everyone’s life.

I know for one, I’ve seen two different types of Americas.

For my first 9 years, I saw an America who was arrogant, didn’t think things through, and didn’t think anything could happen on our soil.

But, that day changed it all.

I’ll never forget it.

I was woken up by my grandma. It was like 7:10 am, and I was about to go to school in a couple of hours.

I honestly thought it was fake, like a video game. I was 4th grade, and I didn’t know better.

But it was real.

And I was like in awe. Then, just sadness for awhile.

I don’t think I slept for a couple of months (Keep in mind, I was in 4th grade).

But, the way America is now.

All together (except for politics, fucking idiots). United. Yeah, we’re arrogant, but we’re more careful, and understanding.

United We Stand.

Never forget 9/11.

Never forget the victims.

– Shaun