“I stand behind these players 100 percent. 100 percent,” sports announcer and former football star Chris Collinsworth told the television audience before kickoff of the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs football game Thursday night. “What they’re trying to do is create positive change in this country that frankly is long, long overdue.”
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick brought such protests to the forefront when he knelt during the national anthem throughout the 2016 season to protest police brutality against African Americans.
It also brought an angry Donald Trump to erupt into yet another Twitter rage, demanding NFL owners fire any player who kneels in protests.
Some owners tried to limit the protests and pledged millions of dollars to fight “social injustice,” but Kaepernick was the only one who lost his job. In early June of this year, Commissioner Roger Goodell apologized for not listening to the concerns of African-American players earlier.
Kneeling is not only allowed, it is encouraged by some clubs while others choose to avoid the issue by staying inside the locker room until after the anthem is played.
As a newspaper photographer who covers many sports (whenever the pandemic ever ends), I stand at attention when the anthem is played. That is my right.
It is also the right of anyone who feels a desire to protest. That is a right given to each of us by being Americans.
Those who boo or shout and make fools of themselves are ignoring the rights that each of us have in what is supposed to be the land of the free and home of the brave.
Sadly, a corrupt, wannabe president believes that he, and only he, has such freedoms and is anything but brave. Donald Trump combines the worst, despicable traits of Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Vladimir Putin and other murderous dictators into what most feel is the worst, anti-Democratic and freedom-hating administration in American history.
Trump has so infuriated Republicans who walked away and formed groups like The Lincoln Project and Republican Voters Against Trump and say, clearly, that keeping Trump in office could mean the end of democracy and freedom in this nation.
I spent seven of the 23 years of our time in Washington, DC, as a political operative for the Republican Party. I saw, firsthand, the shift of what once was a proud conservative movement to the rabid -right extremes of Tea Party racism and outright Fascism.
The party became dominated by haters, bigots, homophobes and crooks. It was no accident that I walked away from involvement with them in the same week that I joined Alcoholics Anonymous. As this is written, I am sober 26 years, four months and five days. Getting away from the Grand Old Party saved my life.
How bad is it? Ask Vice President Mike Pence:
But whatever time is left in this later stage of my life is dedicated to ridding America of the likes of Trump and the racism, bigotry, hate and terror he fosters and promotes.
Unlike four years ago, when hatred of Hillary Clinton and manipulation of a gerrymandered Electoral College gave the nation a closer-than-wanted look at life under a corrupt dictator, they are many others out there now who say it’s time for the real America to return.
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