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SportsTalk With AJ ROK: The NFL, National Anthem & Paid Patriotism

NFL Teams Didn’t Stand For The National Anthem Until 2009

San Francisco 49ers Eric Reid (35) and Colin Kaepernick (7) take a knee during the National Anthem prior to their season opener against the Los Angeles Rams during an NFL football game Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, in Santa Clara, CA. The Niners won 28-0. (Daniel Gluskoter/AP Images for Panini) ORG XMIT: DGCA101

 

SportsTalk With AJ ROK

Alright so I’ve been quiet on my feelings on Colin Kaepernick and many other NFL players that followed and decided to take a knee protesting the National Anthem prior to game. I mean seriously everyone had an opinion with many people have calling for fines, suspensions and even releases of the players. Coaches saying they would bench any player who doesn’t stand.

Others including Donald Trump felt it was disrespectful to veterans. Colin explained he was making this stance for veterans too, veterans like Kenneth Chamberlain, a former Marine, who was killed at the hands of the White Plains Police. Some went as far as to call him unpatriotic. That is to be expected by many who do not know our history but there were African-Americans judging Kaepernick as well.

Every media and sports news outlet had their take on the situation, if was even the topic of discussion on People Before Politics Radio. While many criticized, many came out in defense of Kaepernick.

I salute Kaepernick for bring awareness to the oppression of black people even if it meant risking endorsements and/or a position on the roster. I respect him for risking his career and his source of money to stand up for what he believes. I think it was important to use his platform to bring attention to the senseless killing of black men at the hands of the police. Kaepernick made Americans think about what they’re standing for, and why, especially African-Americans.

What hasn’t been as widely discussed as his decision not to stand is that fact that no NFL players were standing for the national anthem until 2009, it was customary for players to stay in the locker room as the anthem played. A 2015 congressional report revealed that the Department of Defense had paid $5.4 million to NFL teams between 2011 and 2014 to stage on-field patriotic ceremonies; the National Guard shelled out $6.7 million for similar displays between 2013 and 2015.

Say what now? That explains it, this outrage over Colin’s patriotic pre-game peaceful protest is because it interferes with the Paid Patriotism – NFL Teams participating in perceived patriotism for payment. This is the NFL of course, everything is for sale as long as it the owners or the teams doing the selling. Interesting this little fact doesn’t come out until Colin goes viral for protesting the national anthem. And let’s talk about the National Anthem, people!

Those who complain also forget to mention the third and forgotten verse on the Star Spangled Banner which includes the words,

“No refuge could save the hireling and slave, From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave”

That line was basically a shot at the slaves who agreed to fight with the British in exchange for their freedom. Who wouldn’t want freedom, and how can any African-American be expected to stand and sing the first verse like omitting the third stanza makes it okay. Just because you pretend it doesn’t exist or for that matter didn’t even know it existed yourself does not dismiss the words the writer penned.

As always the mainstream media (and to be fair, some may not know the aforementioned lyrics of the third stanza, themselves), but either way they leave out details about how this perceived Patriotism is bought and paid for. Owner cash they checks and expect their players to participate. When they don’t, they risk being traded, waived or losing their endorsements.

The Denver Post reports that Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall has seen not one but two of his endorsement deals terminated in the wake of his decision to kneel during the performing of the national anthem. Last week, the Air Academy Federal Credit Union cut ties with Marshall as a spokesman, and on Monday, CenturyLink, the third largest telecom behind AT&T and Verizon, did the same.

I am not sure who said this first, but I will say it again, any company that drops a player because he is protesting police brutality during the pregame, those companies should be boycotted by at least every African-American, if not everyone because their action are telling us what they think of us as a people.

I thank Steven A. Smith from ESPN’s First Take for bringing the Paid Patriotism to my attention, Wednesday afternoon, (see video below).

Comments

About AJ Woodson (2331 Articles)
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company. AJ is a Father, Brother, Author, Writer, Journalism Fellow, Rapper, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian and A Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine and several others.

1 Comment on SportsTalk With AJ ROK: The NFL, National Anthem & Paid Patriotism

  1. Carlton Beckford Dozier // September 15, 2016 at 8:35 AM //

    I applaud, & sit with Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to salute a flag & anthem that’s based on oppression of Black & Indigenous Native Americans. Unfortunately the “White Privilege” people can’t get & comprehend his stance on his silent protest. They don’t face the issues & centuries of oppression,police brutality,civil & social injustices we have endured & continue to. The NFL is a joke. Paid Patriotism is a farce. The NFL pays the U.S. millions of dollars per season to put on this patriotic displays. Forcing players in a league in which 70% are African American to stand & salute a symbol,a song that never included them. The Constitution, & the Pledge of Allegiance was written & not meant or inclusive for Black & Native Americans.I just wish more prominent black athletes would sit or kneel in unison with Kaepernick. There are too many mentally enslaved millionaire athletes of today, that don’t want to mess up their “Brand” or upet their “Owners.” It’s mind boggling to me because the vast majority of these athletes witnessed & experienced police brutality, false arrests, & etc. I salute the NBA’S LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, & Dwayne Wade for being the face of activitism in their league. There are too many “Plantation Mentality” players in the NFL. There are zero Jim Brown type athletes in today’s NFL.

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