Use other moments, not the anthem, to make statement

deflated football

Image by Shutterstock.

Recliner season is almost here—those glorious Sunday afternoons spent being entertained by the amazing athletic ability of professional football players.

Except, now, it might not be so glorious.

There will likely be many players who disrespectfully kneel during the national anthem.

Somehow, it won’t feel like Sunday fun day anymore.

This country has problems. No doubt about it. There’s work to be done.

But this country also has greatness, and that part seems to get forgotten.

Think about it this way. A lectern at a funeral service is not the time or place to disparage anyone, especially the deceased. Eulogies are meant to be respectful.

You may have a grievance against the deceased. Perhaps the person treated you unjustly. You have every right to feel the way you do, but there will be other moments to be heard. Don’t make your statement during the one-hour service.

It’s because the church will be filled with individuals who love, honor and respect this person. And it will be important to them that others show their respect, as well. Family and friends may know their loved one wasn’t perfect, but that there was also a systemic goodness to him or her. A goodness that overrides criticism—at that particular moment.

Same with kneeling for the anthem. You may have a legitimate grievance or experienced an injustice in this country. But there will be other moments to get your point across. Don’t make your statement during the three-minute anthem.

There are many who love, honor and respect our flag and all it represents. It’s important to them that others show respect for the country that we all choose to call our home. This country isn’t perfect and has flaws. But there’s a systemic goodness to it. A goodness that overrides criticism—at that particular moment.

Participating in the family fantasy football league is tough this year.

We do a live draft. And over the years, I spent more time than I ever thought I would in researching players and trying to invent a new drafting strategy that would bring certain success. I work full-time, and my free time is valuable. But this was fun.

Not this year.

Just printed off the experts’ draft recommendations, and mostly went down the list and picked the next available player needed to complete a roster. It produced this team: Derrick Henry, DeAndre Hopkins, Kenny Golladay, Chris Carson, Dak Prescott, Kareem Hunt, San Francisco Defense, Hayden Hurst and Greg Zuerlein.

Who, on this team, is a kneeler? Don’t know. But since kneeling for the anthem is apparently in vogue right now, there will probably be more than a few.

After each draft selection and waiting for the next round, I daydreamed about other activities I could do besides watch football.

Phone a friend or family member. If the coronavirus will allow it, make a personal visit.

Read a book. So many good books out there and such little time to read them.

Try out a new restaurant. Appreciate a unique menu and the work ethic and hustle that goes along with owning a business.

Lift weights for my arms. I’m in my fifties. Enough said.

Enjoy a fire at the fire pit. Start it with football jerseys no longer wanted.

Listen to good music with a nice glass of wine, and let my mind wander and reflect. Best meditation there is. Even better than yoga.

Don’t worry. I’ll keep plugging in the highest projected players each week and maintain a full fantasy football roster.

But that’s it. My new team name is Don’t Kneed Football.

Thanks for the memories, professional football players. We had a good run.