Study in Contrasts by Rich Sena
The beginning of football season is upon us, and I look forward with great anticipation to Friday Night Lights here in Boerne.
It is exciting to see so many students, parents, and community members pack Boerne ISD Stadium to cheer on our high school teams.
Student participation is incredible. Adding up the number of football players, trainers, band members, cheerleaders, Color Guard, spirit groups, and dance team totals over one-third of each high school’s student body that participate. When adding in student attendees, a vast majority of high school students are present for the game.
Prior to the game, the Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard marches onto the field holding our nation’s flag. During this time, you could hear a pin drop as people remove their hats and hold their hands over their hearts. The stadium is then filled with the joyous sounds of the singing of our national anthem.
Silence reigns once again as the Color Guard leaves the field.
While this process is routine for our high schools’ football games, it is also a sign of respect and appreciation for our nation. This kind of love of country can only be taught in the home or schools.
Contrast this way of life with the increasing trend of NFL players who “take a knee” while our national anthem is played. This is a horrible corruption of what “taking a knee” at a football game usually indicates; a show of respect, goodwill, and hope towards an injured player or giving full, undivided attention to their leader, the coach. This perversion of “taking a knee” is how these radicals undermine our traditions, attempting to make something bad seem acceptable.
Just what is the beef of these highly paid athletes with the nation that has given them the opportunity to succeed and prosper?
Players like Colin Kaepernick and Marshawn Lynch suggest that a nation as racist as ours is unworthy of respect. This is absolute rubbish.
While the USA has a tortured past with regards to race, why not celebrate the progress that has been made which symbolizes our nation’s growth? Do they not realize that Thurgood Marshall, the same attorney who fought for equal educational opportunities for students of all races in courthouses throughout the South, went on to become a United States Supreme Court Justice?
Or that Martin Luther King Jr, who was assassinated while fighting for civil rights for all Americans, has been honored with a national holiday that commemorates the virtue of his cause?
The late Rosa Parks is revered as a brave heroine for fighting the indignities of the public transportation system in Montgomery, Alabama. The Tuskegee Airmen fought for a nation that did not treat them equally, yet today are respected as great American patriots.
I wonder how many of these NFL ingrates could even identify the names or contributions of the afore mentioned Americans. Instead of reading the real history of our nation, perhaps they get all their “news” on Facebook or Instagram.
I commend Cowboys owner Jerry Jones for his stand on this issue. He doesn’t want there to be any confusion regarding his thoughts, and does not support players sitting or kneeling or doing anything but standing for the national anthem, stating:
“I just feel so strongly that the act of recognizing the flag is a salute to our country and all of the people that have sacrificed so that we can have the liberties we have. I feel very strongly that everyone should save that moment for the recognition of the flag in a positive way, so I like the way the Cowboys do it.”
If Kaepernick, Lynch, and other ingrates find the USA so distasteful, then they are free to leave and live in other countries. Perhaps Saudi Arabia or some other Muslim nation could be on their list, and they can see first-hand how women are treated as second class citizens or those of differing faiths are not able to freely worship. Repression of those of different views is routine, often ending in imprisonment or death.
Quite frankly I am sick and tired of these ingrates, enabled by weak kneed politically correct politicians, bashing our nation. Of course, we are not perfect; we never have been nor will we ever be. But we are a nation that has been the beacon of hope for millions of immigrants and many countries that seek to emulate our liberty and freedoms. Many of us truly believe that our nation was founded by divine inspiration. That we fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) simply means that we are human.
I realize that some, particularly those on the far left, feel that it is the right of these NFL players to protest our nation by kneeling during the anthem. These are the same people who fought the effort to pass a constitutional amendment during the 1990’s to ban the burning of the American flag. While it is true that there is a right of protest, it would be nice to see some respect shown to the nation that gives these ingrates their freedoms. Is that too much to ask for?
Meanwhile, in Boerne I hope to see y’all on Friday nights! You won’t be disappointed.