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My honest opinion on the flag, the kneeling and our country

I am told to stick to football on a daily basis, especially if you follow our Twitter feed @DraftDiamonds.  I am not here to tell you who is right or wrong, because we are all allowed to express ourselves.  I want you to follow along because this is going to have a little length to it.  I’m going to talk about many hot topics going around the NFL right now. Some of you will get upset and I’m okay with that. Some of you will agree, some will disagree. THAT IS WHAT IS GREAT ABOUT THIS COUNTRY.

You can tell me my piece sucks, but move on.  In some countries, I would be killed to talk about this matter, especially on social media. Shoot at least we have social media….

Let me get started:

Why are people kneeling in the NFL? What has Colin Kaepernick started? Let me explain:

First off, I am a white male. That is important, and maybe you are wondering why it is important? Let me explain.  I cannot talk for an African American, because I never walked in their shoes. I do know this though, I have been around people of my race when they speak of people of color. I have heard derogatory comments. I have heard people say they should just kill them. I have heard people say Nigger.  If you are Caucasian and can say you have never heard a person of your color say that, you are living in a box.  Am I saying all whites talk like this NO. Do people say it though, yes.  Do you feel blacks are discriminating against?  If you say no, would you change places with one right now? Chris Rock said it best, I am a millionaire and no white man would change places with me.  He has a point here people, blacks have a legitimate complaint. Let’s look at stats on the original complaint from Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick stood up against the injustices in America. He wanted to show the country that black unarmed men were getting killed and nothing was being done about it. So I had to do research before I opened my mouth. That is how I was taught to speak on a subject. Do you homework before you look dumb. So here you go:

U.S. police killed at least 258 black people in 2016, according to a project by The Guardian that tracks police killings in America. Thirty-nine of these people were unarmed. Four were killed by police stun guns and another nine died in custody, per the Huffington Post.

Based on a tracker from The Washington Post, at least 232 black folks were shot and killed. (The Guardian’s figures include all deaths resulting directly from encounters with law enforcement, while the Post counts only people who were shot and killed by police.)

The Post found that 34 percent of the unarmed people killed in 2016 were black males, which is quite disproportionate since black men make up only 6 percent of the U.S. population.

Does that sound like a problem?

Let’s continue.  Many people including myself a 15 year law enforcement official would like to admit this is not a problem, but it is folks. We are trained to shoot center mass. If we shoot most of the time we will kill because the organs are in the center mass of a body.  Not to get off subject, but were people supportive of Kaepernick? Many were not, but I myself felt he had a point. I watched some of the videos of kids getting killed and it was shocking. You cannot put all that blame on every policeman though. Many cops will do anything to defuse a situation before using force. Some police are cowards, and have never been in a situation before. If they do something wrong though, and kill someone accidently or not, they should be dealt with accordingly. According to stats, only 2 police have been charged with the murder of an unarmed black man since 2014. Eight of them settled out of court for millions though. How can you win a Civil suit but not a criminal suit? Money is good but you cannot bring back a son or daughter lost.

What I did not like most of all was Kaepernick’s showing after the protest on the field.

When Colin Kaepernick wore the socks with pigs on them, and coming to the press conference with a Fidel Castro shirt. I can say this, it is his right, and he is not wrong for it. Shoot we have people were Che Guevara shirts in public, and no one says anything.

We get the right to express our opinions and to be honest, I feel that is what tarnished Kaepernick’s outlook, but I see the message he is trying to get out. Was it the right way to display the message? I say no.  When other players like Isaiah Crowell began posting pictures of an officer having his throat slit, I was pissed. Because now you are saying that all law enforcement officers are bad. This is when the drama really began, because these little things struck the nerves of many in the country.

Shortly after that, we had several officers gunned down in Dallas.  They lost their lives, because they were in uniforms. These men likely were not the problem, yet they paid the ultimate price for ignorance.  So why I am going in on everything let me continue by saying how the NFL was wrong.  The NFL would not let NFL teams place a decal on a helmet supporting the law enforcement officers who lost their lives.  They also reportedly were going to fine players for wearing cleats for 9/11, but that didn’t happen.  Shoot they even made the Department of Defense pay money to have military personnel in their stadiums for the National Anthem.  NFL teams received 5.4 million dollars from the Department of Defense to honor the flag. Why are they paying money to honor our soldiers?

Let’s continue because right now everyone is upset with the kneeling of the flag, because they feel it is a disrespect to our flag.  I have heard many people say if you do not like the way things are going then do something about it.  Colin Kaepernick and almost every NFL player has been doing things about it. Kaepernick himself has donated over 800k dollars to charities in the community. Chris Long has donated every check this year to Charlottesville, Virginia, and shoot J.J. Watt raised over 30 million dollars for Hurricane Harvey victims. A matter of fact, NFL players are in the community quite a bit around the league. Every week NFL’s player engagement teams work to place players in the community working with children, disabled, and being positive role models.

These players do go out in the community, they support our troops, this is not about the troops. Everyone feels it is, but Colin Kaepernick actually went to Green Beret Nate Boyer to ask him what is the best way to protest the problem.  A matter of fact Kaepernick agreed to come to a common ground after speaking to Boyer because he did not want to disrespect the troops.

We sorta came to a middle ground where he would take a knee alongside his teammate. Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect. When we’re on a patrol, you know, and we go into a security halt, we take a knee, and we pull security. – Nate Boyer on Colin Kaepernick

After that conversation with Boyer, Kaepernick began to take a knee to show the respect he had for the military, but he was immediately a scum bag. He was un-American, and our President even made some ridiculous comments about him.  Shoot our president also took shots at every player taking a knee, calling them Sons of Bitches and that they should be fired. The thing that makes them mad is a month before that, when a young girl lost her life in a white supremacy march in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump called the members of both sides at the rally, very fine people.   I am not sure I can agree that a white supremacist is a very fine person.

If someone was to call your Mom a bitch, would you be upset? I don’t care what color you are, because Chris Long, Justin Britt were two players who took at stance in favor of the protest.  Shoot Browns tight end Seth DeValve took a knee himself. He too is white.  So the comment really covers any and everyone. All colors, all races.  But before Donald Trump can call you Un-American you need to look at who you are dealing with. Trump is a Draft-Dodger, and a very good one at that.  A man who is over here pumping the military calling others Un-American was scared to enlist himself. That is worse than taking a knee in my opinion.

When it comes to the Flag, I was taught very little about the flag as a student. My son taught me there were thirteen lines on the flag which represented the first thirteen colonies. Folks I am 35, and he is 9 and I learned something from him. I had no clue what all this meant. I was never taught. I didn’t know the white stripe meant for liberty and equality. Did you just read what I put? EQUALITY.  The flag stands for a lot. The red is for the blood shed by our courageous military men and woman who were willing to fight for our rights without fear. The flag stands for more than just the men and woman that died, everyone was right. It stands for more than just one thing.  That is how it became such a wonderful symbolism of our country.

Many have issues with the star spangled banner.  The song wrote by Francis Scott Key. 

In 1814, Key was a slaveholding lawyer from an old Maryland plantation family, who thanks to a system of human bondage had grown rich and powerful, per the Smithsonian Magazine.

When he wrote the poem that would, in 1931, become the national anthem and proclaim our nation “the land of the free,”  Key not only profited from slaves, he harbored racist conceptions of American citizenship and human potential. Africans in America, he said, were: “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.”

Does that sound like a song for African Americans?  The land of the free? Yet they were slaves. I know I am not the smartest man, but that does not sound right. I know it became our national anthem and now some of the lyrics have been cut out to unite our country, but the damage was already done. Check out this message.

“I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag. I know that I am a black man in a white world.”
That might sound like Kaepernick, whose refusal to stand during the national anthem in 2016 invited strong condemnation and rendered him a pariah among many in his own league, per CNN. NO THAT IS NOT COLIN KAEPERNICK.
Those actually are the words of Jackie Robinson, beloved baseball pioneer and civil rights activist, writing in his 1972 autobiography, “I Never Had It Made.”

I could sit here and talk about this topic all day. I could sit here and debate all day long because there are so many things wrong with this entire discussion. You know what the best part is though? Over the years we have come so far as a Nation. There are still some issues, big and small. There are still many things that need to be worked on, but you cannot sit down and talk about the issues anymore because of ignorance. People do not want to have a peaceful conversation about the problems, they want to name call, curse and belittle the person in front of them.  Instead of looking at the facts and talking about the issues, we are simply dividing as a nation.

As you know we are a faith based company, so I am about to go on a little Christianity rant. Jesus is just sitting back watching.  Hoping we as a nation put him first, because all of this drama and chaos is in the Bible.

  • God cares about people regardless of their ethnicity, nationality, and social status (Deuteronomy 10:17-19).
  • “God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right” (Acts 10:34-35).
  • “We were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink” (1 Corinthians 12:13).

It is simple, Do you believe in God? If you do then you shouldn’t be putting people down. We are make the body of Christ. We are one, yet we are dividing. You know who is really winning right now? The Devil.

Let me show you a couple more scriptures:

  • Galatians 5:13 ESV For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
  • 1 Peter 2:16 ESV Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.

Pray for our nation believers, we need prayer because it is getting worse and worse. People are no longer living to bring lives to the Lord. He will come soon, will you be saved?

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at [email protected]

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