You would think that, with all the money they earn, these sports stars using their fame to sway public opinion could buy a clue. But then, the executives running those leagues aren’t showing us much but an abundance of arrogance themselves.
So, let me see if I can help.
Tip Number One: You don’t get respect for your cause by disrespecting someone else’s. Your freedom to earn millions of dollars playing a game — did you catch that — PLAYING A GAME was paid for with the blood of men who all we have left of are the memories that are embodied in that flag that you refuse to salute. And the police officers you criticize? They’re the guys who keep the thugs out of your mansions and custom rides, fanatic fans off your back, and the moms of those dead soldiers you disrespect off your neck.
The fact is: YOU are the one percenters. You live a life that 99% of us can only dream about. We don’t get a police escort to and from work, and they don’t set up barricades to separate us from the common people. We are the common people. We bust our guts working overtime, doing without some of the things we really could use, so we can afford to take our kids to watch you play. And then you don’t even have the decency to stand for 2 minutes (NFL rules won’t let the National Anthem last longer than that) to acknowledge that their grandfather nearly froze his feet off fighting to keep you from being born in a nation ruled by a man who was on his way to killing every human who wasn’t lily white.
Want somebody to listen to you? Try showing a little respect to the folks who are making your lifestyle possible.
Tip Number Two: Sports Are A Distraction. What I mean is all these common people who buy the tickets and the products that pay your salary have got a lot of junk going on in their lives. They don’t have world-class doctors at their beck and call and some of them are living with the pain that they can’t afford the best health care for their children who have cancer. Some have sick parents who live with them. Lots of single moms are trying to keep a house together and are running kids to school and back in an old jalopy they pray will start every morning. Some are stuck in dead-end jobs that have sucked the life from them, while others have had the proverbial rug jerked from under them by companies moving to China and Mexico.
They come to watch you play to forget it all. You are their distraction from the pain and struggle of real life. You make them think, that for a little while, all is right with the world and they can enjoy a few hours of pleasure with their friends.
And then you go and act like you are the moral compass of the universe. The only person on Earth who “gets it.” You make it all about you and go and ruin the moment. And when you are finished, no one’s any better for it. All you’ve managed to do is rain on a family’s parade that they spent three day’s salary hoping to enjoy.
Tip Number Three: The Workplace Isn’t The Place For A Protest. What if the guy washing your Silver Shadow decides he’s gonna sit in your front seat until the Cherokees get their land back? What if the waiter at your snobby five-star restaurant decides he isn’t bringing your steak because your handmade threads weren’t sewn at a union shop? What if the pilot who flies your private jet refuses to move it off the runway until her sisters in China get higher wages? What if the stadium announcer refuses to speak your name until you apologize to all the police you’ve insulted?
Do you get the point?
What do you think would happen to those folks who fill the stands if they decided to protest something when they went back to work? How long do you think the manager at McDonalds would allow a burgerflipper to wear those cops-as-pigs socks before he sent him home?
We’ve all got causes, player, but we don’t get the free passes you think you’re entitled to.
And you know what is really sad about this? Some of those causes you mention need somebody to step-up and champion them. But they need somebody who knows how to give hope. They need a leader. Any yahoo can take a knee and point at a problem, but it takes someone with compassion and courage to use his/her influence and resources to seek enduring solutions. And most of the time, that is done beyond the glow of the spotlight.
Building bridges is a waste of time when you are setting fires behind you.