*This is an off topic post but I’ll be back on the gym track next time. In the meantime, get those good workouts in!
Dear Protesting Athletes,
You’re going to be on your knees forever if you’re waiting for there to be an end to injustice in America. You better get used to living your life down in the mud because there’s never going to be perfect harmony under this flag or any other. Human frailty, weakness and purposeful wickedness will always exist because we live in the realm of men. This isn’t heaven and therefore your goal will not be achieved here. Please point to one country, particularly a large, racially/ethnically/religiously mixed one where social justice has been perfectly accomplished (it does make you wonder why, if it’s so terrible, black and brown people from other countries still seek to come to America in droves).
You’ll never be able to stand erect again. You’ll live there on your knees breathing the dust of those who actually stand, walk, work for and fight real battles for justice. You know, those who roll up their sleeves and spend their time uplifting the poor, the sick, the weak, not just pointing to the problem and demanding someone else fix it. But then again, that’s a much harder thing to do. It’s exponentially more difficult than sinking to the floor at the sight of the flag. It takes place out of the spotlight and is most often unacknowledged and unnoticed by the word at large.
How about some of you concerned athletes who have long off seasons take some at-risk kids under your wing? Maybe you could show up every week on Saturday night when lots of young people are getting into trouble and hang out at an inner city rec center, playing with them and keeping them off the streets where they’re more likely to engage in behavior that might catch the attention of the police? Why don’t you sponsor a tutoring program where you and some of your buddies help teach a few struggling young people how to read or do math? You don’t have to be a trained teacher to do that. Pay a trained teacher to organize the learning materials, demonstrate how to execute the lessons and oversee the tutoring sessions that YOU run. How about driving every Wednesday during off season to a high school with low performing students and run the after school study program? During the season when you can’t show up, you can arrange to Skype for a few minutes a day with them or send a video message each week to encourage them to stay the course until you return to duty in person. Perhaps you could adopt a child who has lost their parents to drug addiction. What about leaving the sport you play and going into law enforcement instead? It’s clearly a place you think needs improvement…improve it! Fifteen seconds of thought and more importantly desire, and you could come up with a way to actually do some good. There are myriad places to put your time and energy but it requires you give of yourself, not just insist that someone else resolve your grievances. Dropping to your knees whenever you hear our anthem or see our flag isn’t going to get the job done. Neither is throwing money (in small or even large amounts) in the general direction of the problem.
I’ve never heard of a single battle won, at any point in history, by warriors who engaged in the campaign on their knees. Have you? Stand up, wipe the dirt off your pants and get to work! If you choose not to, the rest of us will know exactly who you are…yet another tiresome, self centered, grandstanding agitator who loves to throw matches in puddles of gasoline but won’t lift a finger to be helpful. We’ll know you were simply seeking a public forum and a TV camera so everyone could watch you clutch your pearls and virtue signal in high definition. In the final analysis, we’ll see that though you had the power and position to have contributed mightily, your life was naught
“but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It’s a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.” (William Shakespeare)