Tag Archives: NFL

The 1st Amendment in Danger from the World of Sports

Baltimore Ravens players kneel during the National Anthem – photo from ABC News

For some time now there has been a great deal of controversy in the National Football League (NFL) over players taking a knee during the National Anthem. Started by Colin Kapernick in protest of the many of African Americans that were and are being killed by police officers, it is a form of protest that has gain a lot of traction and has since gain national attention thanks to the twitter rants of our so called President, Mr. Trump. Trump has even gone so far as to suggest that any NFL player who takes a knee should be fired. Unfortunately, this idea has also gained some traction.

There has been talk among the members of the NFL of actually making it a rule that all players must stand during the National Anthem, or else be fired. This is in blatant disregard of the player’s 1st Amendment rights to peaceful protest and it shows just how far people are willing to go to enforce their own ideals on people and to ignore the racist and dehumanizing treatment that African Americans and other people of color face in this country. Here’s the thing, the reason why players are taking a knee is to protest the treatment of African Americans in this country, not to disrespect the flag, or the troops, or what it is supposed symbolizes, but many people want to draw attention away from the real issue and make a big fiasco out of the actual act, so no one will pay attention to the real issue. The people who are angry at the players, like Trump is, are more concerned with a piece of cloth then with the lives of actual human beings.

There is nothing special about this piece of fabric. The patriotism, values, and freedoms it represents are not magically imbued into it nor does it go away if it gets disrespected. It is funny how so many people get so angry and lose their minds over a piece of cloth and their own self-absorbed beliefs, but black children and adults can get systematically murdered, abused, and discriminated against but they don’t bat an eye. Instead, they rather hyper fixate on the players taking a knee and impose a rule of forced patriotism. Except, it is not patriotism. When patriotism is forced and you take away the rights of the people to protest, it is not patriotism, that is called fascism.

Political Trouble in the World of Sports

There have been several days of controversy and criticism since NBA player Stephen Curry suggested he would vote against accepting Trump’s invitation to the White House. When Trump heard about this development, he decided to un-invite the entire Warriors basketball team and has since sent out a number of tweets regarding both the National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Football League (NFL). The latter is the result of Trump’s comments that NFL players should be fired for taking a knee during the National Anthem and the resulting protests from NFL teams such as the Steelers.

Stephen Curry – Photo from NBA.com

The Steelers decided to remain inside of the locker room during the performance of the National Anthem. The head coach of the Steelers, Mike Tomlin, stated that he did not want the team to feel divided and that, essentially, he wanted the team to stay out of the politics going on. However, being absent during the Anthem is something of a political statement in and of itself.

Trump has stated, both at his rally in Alabama and on Twitter, that he believes anyone who does not stand up or takes a knee during the Anthem should be fired. He has also stated on Twitter that the games have been losing viewers because they are “boring” but people would keep watching if the NFL teams were loyal to the U.S. That being said, Trump is probably not the best person to give commentary on how viewership has increased or decreased for sports teams. Or in a position to really give any commentary at all. What the President has to do with a NFL game or NBA team is unknown, especially when he has more serious matters to attend to. Regardless of what Trump says, and in fact because of it, many players and teams are now making a stand and/or protesting, such as a number of players at the Jaguars and Ravens game in London. Perhaps it is time to listen to what other people have to say about why they are protesting, instead of threatening them.

Gay, successful, brave and he has a tight end: Michael Sam’s truth

I recently received a text from my father. He was asking for my opinion on a recent controversy involving a gay football player who was being considered as a top pick for the NFL draft. I was completely uneducated on the topic, so I began to research. Continue reading Gay, successful, brave and he has a tight end: Michael Sam’s truth

Rough times for NFL refs

I’ve been watching football on Sunday afternoons and Monday nights since I was about ten years old. Originally, I just wanted an excuse to eat hot dogs in the living room with my dad, and not get off the couch for hours at a stretch; these days however, I really do enjoy getting wrapped up in the drama and excitement of my favorite teams’ weekly games. Of course, since I cheer for the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos, and Washington Redskins, this is not always the most satisfying or rewarding pursuit, but team loyalty can and should trump all (and for what it’s worth, none of the three have disgraced themselves yet.  In fact, the Vikings are currently leading their division, so I am a fairly happy camper, though I do always worry that new Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is going to break, on account of his age and history of serious injuries. But enough about me). Continue reading Rough times for NFL refs

Oscar buzz for “The Blind Side

There is much Oscar buzz this year for Sandra Bullock in the Best Actress category for her role as Leigh Anne Tuohy in “The Blind Side. The movie has also been nominated for Best Picture, going up against other box office hits such as “Avatar” and “Precious just, to name a few.

The Blind Side” depicts the story of Baltimore Raven Michael Oher and his tragic yet miraculous upbringing. Oher, played by Quinton Aaron, is African-American and was born in Memphis Tennessee in 1986. With twelve other siblings, an absent father and a mother addicted to crack, things were never looking too hopeful for Michael. Going to school was never enforced at his house and Michael had to repeat both the 1st and 2nd grade. After breaking out of foster homes and not being able to live with his mother and siblings, Oher soon found himself homeless.

While sleeping on random porches and friends’ couches, one of Oher’s friend

NFL, let the madness begin!

Well it’s official, the NFL season has started. In fact, we’re already two weeks in. So, which teams are going to come out on top this year? It’s really hard to tell since we are so early into the season. After all, last year probably didn’t turn out quite the way anyone was planning. For the most part, it seemed like the Superbowl was going to pit the New York Giants against the Tennesee Titans. Both teams finished with the number one seed in their conferences by holding a record of 13-3; but in a shocking turn of events, both teams were eliminated early in the playoffs despite having the home field advantage and a spot in the playoffs.

The Superbowl last year pitted the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Arizona Cardinals. Most people favored the Steelers since they had been to the Superbowl before, whereas Arizona was entering for the first time. The game was surprisingly good (despite trailing 20-7, the Cardinals came back to take a 23-20 lead right before the Steelers managed a touchdown in the last couple of minutes in the game to take a 27-23 win.) The game was just as exciting as the game two years ago, in which the Giants surprising comeback against the Patriots.

So with all that in mind, what two teams will travel to the Superbowl this year? Obviously, things didn’t go the way some people thought they would last year. The NFL has been known to come around and surprise you every now and then. Being only two games into the regular season, it’s too early to tell who will be in contention for the championship. The Patriots are always a good choice for playoff contention, having missed the playoffs only three times in the past nine years. This year they’re 1-1 with their first win over the Bills, and that game was a come-from-behind win.

The Patriots trailed 24-13 as the game was coming to an end. They then managed a touchdown pass from Brady, and after cutting the lead to 24-19, the Bills fumbled on the kickoff, and the Patriots recovered, just in time for Brady to complete a second touchdown pass giving the Patriots a 25-24 win. However, the patriots lost 16-9 to the Jets the very next week.

The New York Giants, who are currently unbeaten (and we all remember what they’re capable of), are a good team to look at for playoff contention. Two years ago they barely managed to make it into the playoffs on a wild card, but as soon as they did, they rolled through the playoffs and managed the shocking comeback to win the Superbowl over the Patriots. Then, just last year, they finished with one of the best records in the NFL securing a spot in the playoffs as well as being assured the home field advantage. However, they lost in the opening round, and their hopes of repeating the previous year were eliminated.

There are several other teams you can look at. Pittsburgh always seems to have a good chance of finding their way to the playoffs, Baltimore usually plays pretty tough and Indianapolis has had a pretty good record in the past several years. So the season is still young and we’ll just have to wait and see who ends up with the best record. Keep in mind, however, that even having the best record in the regular season means nothing when playoff time comes around. So if you bet on a team to win this year’s Superbowl think about it very carefully.