NFL Protest

I do not like to make things political, and I can honestly admit that I’m first in line when it comes to wanting politics to stay out of my sports. They are my source of entertainment, and I simply want to relax from the stress of the world and enjoy them. However, we have reached a point where there is so much hatred and bigotry in the world that sticking strictly to sports is simply impossible. So I would like to provide an honest perspective on my change of emotion regarding the NFL protests.

Personally, do I think kneeling during the National Anthem is wrong? Absolutely! A year ago when Colin Kaepernick first decided to make a stand by sitting on the bench during the national anthem, I like many could not understand why a young man with the privilege of making millions of dollars by playing the game he loves be so disrespectful to the country that allows him that privilege through the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women willing to risk their lives for this great nation. However, President Trump’s comments this weekend prove why athletes and celebrities must use their power, platform, and voice to speak up for what is good and right in the world (Choose wisely).

At a rally in Alabama, President Trump made the following remarks, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!” ( Most of us are at the mercy of our employers in regards to the amount of social and political activism we can display on company time, and many are even limited in regards to the social media posts they are allowed to make on their own time. So, I can understand where President Trump is coming from, but as a leader he should be asking, “Why sir are you kneeling?”

Colin Kaepernick felt strongly enough about the social and racial injustice in this country that he was willing to use his platform (The NFL), likely the largest platform in the country, to make a statement about what he felt was right. Last year in an exclusive interview with NFL Media he said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder” ( Mind you, he agreed to stand for The National Anthem if signed this year, because he already brought a voice to his cause.

One has to be ridiculously narrow minded and short sighted to not see that social and racial injustices are still major issues in this country, and Colin decided to take a stand to help bring this issue to the attention of a greater audience. Unfortunately for him, many of us chose to be short sighted and protest his lack of patriotism, when in fact he is probably more patriotic than all of us whom have not enlisted to fight for this country. “Patriot: a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion; a person who regards himself or herself as a defender, especially of individual rights, against presumed interference by the federal government” (  By definition he is a patriot, (I am not even going to get into his charity work) because he risked his livelihood to bring a voice to the beliefs he was passionate about.

It serves the values of The United States of America for individuals with influence and power to stand up for those without it, and while I did not agree when he did it, I recognize why Colin Kaepernick had to use his platform to bring attention to this. It has been over a year since he decided to sit for his beliefs, and our government refuses to acknowledge and discuss the issues he and others have brought to their attention. Instead the government has used the peaceful protests of Kaepernick and other NFL players to redirect attention away from their cause and slander their names.

Were the acts of protest displayed this Sunday anti the President and the government? I cannot say that for a fact, but how could they not be? Any one of us would want to take a stand against a person or group that used such derogatory language about us, and as Americans we have the right to peacefully protest that, just as the NFL players chose to do. Ben Franklin under the pen name Silence DoGood said, “Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom; and no such thing as public liberty, without freedom of speech; which is the right of every man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or control the right of another. And this is the only check it ought to suffer, and the only bounds it ought to know” ( It would serve us all well to remember that, as our great nation is as divided as ever.

So whether you agree or not with what the players did and do moving forward, the purpose of a protest is to express disapproval in something, and as Americans we should listen to what our brothers and sisters have to say and work together to build each other up instead of being hateful and divisive. Since the NFL started this stand, I leave you with the words of the man himself, Vince Lombardi, “People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses, or the problems of modern society” (

Written with Love,


NFL Week 1 Reaction

Even though two teams have yet to play a regular season game, week one of the NFL season is officially in the books. Let the overreactions and wild assumptions begin! Week one saw some anemic offenses, explosive defenses, and surprising standouts, but what is the biggest overreaction takeaway from the week? No one was surprised that the Seahawks offensive struggles from last year are still and issue, and everyone including Chuck Pagano knows that the Colts without Luck (both literal and figurative) are probably the worst team in the league.   Yeah Sam Bradford looked good, but the Vikings did start the 2016 season 5-0 only to finish the season 8-8. Shout out to Dalvin Cook though!!! 👏 👏 👏   However, Cincinnati getting shut out by the Ravens and the Giants total lack of offensive productivity without Odell Beckham were definitely a bit surprising, but the most surprising and over reaction provoking event from week one, was hands down Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs 42-27 upset of the reigning Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots. The take: Alex Smith will lead his Kansas City Chiefs deep into the playoffs and win the MVP.

While the Chiefs did have an extremely impressive showing against Belichick and the Patriots, the idea that a QB in his thirteenth season with an average QBR of 85.8 is going to be the MVP of the league seems like a bit of a stretch after only a single week of play (ESPN I). First things first, we know that the MVP is notoriously awarded to a QB or RB on a team that is a serious playoff contender, so do I think this could be the year of the Cheifs? It should be, but they do play in this year’s most competitive division, the AFC West. They have been a playoff team the last two years, and despite the loss of Jamal Charles and Jeremy Maclin this could be their best team to date. With weapons like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, Chris Conley will have room to shine, and it showed in his two receptions for 43 yards on Thursday. After losing Charles this offseason the running game became a point of concern for the team, but some kid out of Toledo named Kareem Hunt, who fumbled on his first career carry, squashed any concern by redeeming himself with 239 total scrimmage yards in his debut (ESPN II).

The offense seems primed and ready, but on defense, with Eric Berry out for the season it could provide foes with a chink in their armor to pick away at. On Sunday we see if they can derail the Eagles’ Wentz Wagon and if Smith can repeat his performance from week one. Remember this is the same Alex Smith that has delivered spotty performances his entire career. So spotty in fact many were hoping/expecting the rookie Patrick Mahomes II to take the helm after his impressive preseason performance. I do think the Chiefs could be the real deal, but I question if Alex Smith has evolved beyond “game manager” status. Yes, he was good, but I really put the weight of the win on Hunt’s shoulders. The first quarter ended with a 7-7 tie. In the second and third quarters the Chiefs managed a touchdown in each, and the Patriots put up ten points in each to make the score 21-27 going into the fourth. Anytime a team puts up 21 points in the fourth, it is a sign that the defense has worn down, and the best way to do that is running the ball, i.e., Kareem Hunt. I am in no way discrediting the throws that Smith made, but a good running game is a QB’s best friend.   With that said, we all get lucky from time to time, so I reserve my judgment on Smith until he proves that his performance Thursday was not a fluke. Breakdown: Are the Chiefs a playoff team? As it stands, yeah they are. Is Alex Smith getting my MVP vote (I know I don’t have a vote yet, but let a girl dream ok)? Yes, if the vote was today, but its not.

Basically we are all Jon Snow, because we know nothing!!!! Its week one folks, and with preseason play being so limited for key players it takes at least one if not two regular season games to knock the rust off and better evaluate what is actually going on with these teams. I mean come on man! No one really believes the Bills or Jaguars are winning their respective divisions, yet there they sit alone at the top. To assume that we should hand the MVP to Smith or Bradford out the gate is just as ludicrous of a suggestion. We still have two teams that have yet to see regular season action. If your team did not perform up to your expectations, take a breath, because things might not be as bad as it seems (unless you’re a Colts or Jets fan). If your team did well, have yourself a toast and enjoy it while it lasts, because there is a lot of football left to play.

by: Melody Murphy

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