I am genuinely amazed that the story of the NFL protests continues to make headlines. There are frankly much more weighty topics that need to be covered in our country right now. To name just a few; abortion, predator priests, supreme court nominations, etc. But yet time and time again, we are back to the kneeling issue. After my Alma Mater, Truett McConnell University released a statement about the issue today I could be silent no longer.
This is NOT about Patriotism
Kneeling for those players is a statement about police brutality and racial injustice. It is NOT out of a desire to dishonor America or dishonor armed forces/veterans. This is a narrative that continues to be pushed that simply is not true. We obviously can’t peer into the hearts of every player on the field, and if any of them do desire to dishonor the troops: shame on them. But that is not why the movement started. The movement started because of issues with police brutality.
You really shouldn’t care that much
Why do you care what they do? In my opinion, the only reason people care this much about whether the NFL players are kneeling or not is because they idolize football. They idolize the players and they idolize the game. The second reason they care too much is that they idolize America. One idol is in conflict with another and their world is spinning out of control. Listen people: those players kneeling takes no honor away from those who have sacrificed their lives to serve our country. You are giving them a power to take honor away that they don’t actually have. The more you go into an outrage about it, the more power you give them. If you really don’t like what Nike is doing or any of these players are doing, ignore it. What are you worried about? The players offending America? Hurting America’s feelings? I have news for you; America has problems. Lots of them.
Freedom of Speech- YAY AMERICA
Freedom of Speech is a right that our armed forces and veterans have given their lives for. Those brave men and women go out every day and protect out right to disagree. That is a beautiful thing. They die for your right to vote and your right not to vote. They give their lives for your right to be silent AND your right to speak out. I hope conservatives can see that they are doing the exact same thing that the liberal media does. Especially on LBGTQ issues, if you speak out and disagree with the liberal stance to any degree, they seek to silence you. How is that different in this instance with police brutality? Do we want to silence these players because we disagree with them? Now, if your employer expects you to stand for the national anthem, you can either stand or be fired. There are certain jobs in this country that will require you to withhold your own personal beliefs for the good of the service/company. If you don’t like the job, you can leave. HOWEVER, I don’t really think professional football is one of those jobs that is really going to be impacted by the players expressing their personal beliefs. Football is still football. But thats Blake’s opinion.
Listen, although I think police brutality is a VERY real issue in this country, I also believe respect for authority is equally just as much of an issue. This blog post is not about that. This blog post is about the fact that 2 major idols (NFL and the nation) are being attacked and the result is that people are cutting off the Nike logos on their socks. That is absolutely insane. You already gave Nike your money, and furthermore, every post about this is more advertisement for Nike (it was a brilliant marketing strategy).
We respond in anger because Nike’s ad is knocking down our little idol factories. Who knew that a little statement and a picture could cause this?
Our true response as Christians should be that we refuse to kneel before the idol of bitterness, allowing social issues to cause us to make hurtful and unhelpful statements. We should also refuse to stand before the idol of loyalty to a flag/anthem, when it causes me to make derogatory statements about my fellow man made in the image of God. Finally, when we realize the destruction of our idol factory has taken place, we should turn to God and ask Him: What is Your will? How can I respond to this in such a way that will honor You, and help others to see Your love and Your justice?
I don’t worship a flag and I don’t worship my nation I worship the Living God. He is the One who has made the ultimate sacrifice for me, and He is the One truly worthy of all my attention. Lord, please destroy all of our idols.
If you have questions or would like to reach out to me to add to this conversation, I welcome feedback. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please respond with truth and grace. Thanks!