“In The Scope With Joshua M. Hicks” is a weekly column from the Managing Editor of WARR
The NFL has always had a tough relationship with its players within the past couple seasons, but now the league has created more damage to their already strained relationship with their new protesting law.
The new policy states the league’s support for the flag and how all team players and personal must “respect” the flag and stand for the anthem, or if they choose to protest, they must do it by staying in the locker room or find some other way to protest. Otherwise, disobeying this policy will lead you to a league fine.
As an institution the NFL does not support their players and made it clear that implementing unconstitutional laws for profit is business. That is something we as a people should not stand for, players around the league will not support, and in reality, will only not solve the “issue” of protesting, but increase player league-wide protesting about the true narrative of social injustice in America.
The lack of understanding behind the peaceful protests NFL that Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick used to create awareness around the issues of inequalities towards black people and minorities is a key component to this implemented policy. The league continues to twist the narrative, making it about the flag and army veterans instead of its reality. But this matter gets worse due to the fact that the players union never was consulted about the policy.
According to a released statement by the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), the NFL owners decided not to include the players union about the new policy and the vote contradicts what the players were told by Commissioner Roger Goodell and Chairman of the NFL’s Management Council John Mara about “the principles, values and patriotism of our League”. Because of this, union will review the rule and fight against it.
Players have already spoken out against the rule, stating that it will not stop them from protesting or being socially conscious of these discriminatory injustices African-Americans endure everyday. Even the New York Jets owner Christopher Johnson openly stated he would pay for the players’ protesting fines.
If the NFL spotlight could not get any worse, the most ironic situation occurred in the NBA, the same day the NFL implemented the new rule. The NBA’s situation only solidified the continued difference between both leagues’ definitions of patriotism.
The video of Maywood native, Proviso East graduate and current Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown being wrongfully tased in front of a Walgreens parking lot for a bad parking job was released. The league expressed tremendous support for Brown and called out the Milwaukee Police Department for their wrongful acts of police brutality against one of their employees. The National Basketball Players Association also has recently approved a mental health and wellness program with former NBA player Keyon Dooling serving as the director.
“There’s never been a time when sports has been more impactful on society than it is today,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told Jason Owens of Yahoo Sports. “Whether it’s issues affecting race and gender, health, mental wellness or technology and media, what we all do in this room matters day in and day out…I encourage all of you not to stick to sports. Do not stick to sports. Embrace it. Celebrate it. And let’s use it to build bridges and to bring people together.”
Clearly, even though the NBA also has a rule implemented stating they must stand for the anthem, they repeatedly show knowledge of the injustices their players and minorities across the country experience on an everyday basis. A league that is 74 percent African-American can come together with their league owners and personal to use their platforms to make effective change in their communities.
President Trump joined the policy discussion by stating him and vice president Mike Pence’s support for the rule and that if the players cannot stop protesting, they should consider leaving the country, a state. The NFL and Trump continually join forces to discriminate minorities for excercising their First Ammendment, American citizen rights. They continue to twist narratives of lies to express the true reality of America. They say they are for the people, but their actions speak otherwise.
The league cannot support domestic violent players and drug/mental illness related issues but cannot support peaceful protest. In a player-league that is roughly 70 percent African-American, they cannot even get a meeting with the bosses to consult on an agreement. The NFL keeps exposing themselves in a negative light, and I will not be surprised if the fans and players take their protests to another level.
Joshua M. Hicks is a Chicago-based sports writer and broadcaster, follow him on Twitter @jhicks042; Follow We Are Regal Radio on Twitter @regalradio1 and on Facebook under We Are Regal Radio