In Defense Of The Good Fight: My Response To Graham Allen’s Rant On The NFL Protests
"If he and his fellow protest-protesters cared at all about athlete’s communities, then these protests wouldn’t even be necessary anymore."
Y'all seen this Graham Allen dude’s rant on the NFL protests? Mhmm, me too. What was your favorite part?
Was it when he complained about not being able to see the player’s charitable work and activism when cameras weren’t around to justify complaints about the activism he saw when the cameras were around? Or was it when he had the audacity to trumpet police’s moral character to shame athletes protesting police brutality? Oh! I know! It was when he said, “It must be nice to not be held accountable for the whole concept of you as a person,” not to address the Jeronimo Yanez, Daniel Pantaleo, Darren Wilson, Timothy Loehmann and Betty Shelby’s of the world, but in their defense.
All of it cracked me up. Hypocrisy really knows its way around my funny bone.
Never mind the fact that, for years, the NFL — the league, not the players — charged the government millions of dollars to honor the military at games, resulting in an non-existent outcry compared to what we’ve seen in response to kneeling. Let’s criticize the players for disrespecting the military, instead. Never mind all the charitable work and community investment that players commit to all year. Let’s criticize them for letting their deeds speak for themselves and not telling us about it instead. Never mind that when the recent amazing charitable efforts of LeBron James and Derrick Rose were well-publicized, that Graham Allen and his praise for them doing the very thing he criticized NFL athletes for not doing was nowhere to be found — because he doesn’t actually care at all about what athletes do or don’t do for their communities.
If he and his fellow protest-protesters cared at all about athlete’s communities, then these protests wouldn’t even be necessary anymore. But they are still necessary and are still justified, despite the opinions of two running backs from an era of football where concussions were as common as the fucks protest-protesters give are misplaced.
Humanity isn’t what it used to be. In the '60s, Americans saw black people beaten, hosed and hunted by police dogs for peacefully protesting, and were moved to do something about it. Today, we see unarmed black man and woman after unarmed black man and woman lose their lives to police brutality, and it’s the officers that America jumps to the defense of. What not enough of you protest-protesters do is reflect.
Given all that the flag clearly means to you, I’m sure you all have asked yourselves, “What would possess any of my fellow Americans to dare not stand for the flag?” Rather than leaping from this question to unfettered rage, take the time to actually find an answer. Start by considering the specific things the flag represents for you. For the sake of time, let’s use life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to sum up everything you’re picturing. I think we can all agree that those three things suffice (mind you, it would be unpatriotic if you didn’t. Just saying).
So where does that lead us, you may then wonder? Does that mean that NFL athletes, Black Lives Matter activists, etc. have no appreciation for these three things? Well, ask yourself how congruent those ideals are with the story of [insert name of unarmed black man, woman or child unjustly deprived of all each by the lethal force of a police here].
The answer: it was never about the anthem, the flag or anything it represents. Allen was right about one thing. This is an issue of morality. Specifically, the lack thereof in a society that condones the killing of its people and latches on to any excuse to undermine the efforts of those advocating for life in the face of legalized murder.