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Marshawn Lynch Sits During Anthem and That is Okay....

Yes America, Oakland Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch chose Saturday night as an opportunity to make a statement by sitting during the National Anthem. And you should be alright with his choice.

Non-violent statements--whether you agree or not--are a staple of American life. Despite (and yes, this is a bit of a political statement) the increased rhetoric against the press our anyone who doesn't agree with what a politician tells you you should believe have created an atmosphere of "Everything I say is right and there is no other choice".

And I say this in the shadow of the horrific chaos in Charlottesville, Virginia where instead of peacefully stating their opinions---certain groups (who we won't name) have chosen to make a violent statement about beliefs that are not acceptable in any society.

Marshawn Lynch followed the lead of Colin Kaepernick and stayed seated during the anthem Saturday night during a football game. We suspect---but don't know for sure that Lynch was doing it to support Kaepernick who has essentially been blackballed by the NFL for doing the same thing in 2016.

And the reason he (Kaepernick) sat...was to make a statement. A non-violent and visible but not obnoxious statement about the treatment of blacks by police. You should be and are free to chose whether you agree with that statement or not. Saturday night, Lynch was doing what he felt strongly about--supporting Kaepernick and what he said.

After the game, Raiders Coach Jack Del Rio explained what happened--telling reporters he and Lynch talked and Del Rio supported his running back's decision....

The decision to kneel during the National Anthem should not be one that costs you the ability to make a living. If I were to tell you that I didn't hold my hand over my heart during the reading of the Pledge of Allegiance---would you castigate me for not conforming??

No, you cannot compare anything Kaepernick did or said nor Lynch to the actions in Charlottesville. The only similarity is the expression of set of beliefs. There is a big difference between advocating discussion and advocating violence. If you can't see that---you probably should not be reading this.

EVERYTHING the neo-nazi's and white supremacists say is in our opinion reprehensible and has no place in modern society at any time. They aren't looking for a rational discussion and a diverse set of viewpoints.....Kaepernick and other NFL players raise a question that should be part of a bigger conversation.

I'm not going to sit here and quote statistics and studies about how often blacks are presumed to be guilty or harassed by police simply due to the color of their skin, if you consume any news at all--you should be aware of this.

Rather---I'm going to tell you if you've read this far that not a single thing they (Kaepernick and Lynch) are doing should have any impact on you or your life. It's what they believe should be discussed in public, not whispered about in private--and that's their choice. If it upsets you so much it makes you tune out the NFL...well then so be it. But it also speaks a lot more about a lack of open minded-ness than it does the NFL or athletes in general.

Athletes are not robots nor should they ever be considered as such. They are people. And people have beliefs and opinions. They have a public forum due to the nature of their jobs. They should be able to make an impact. As long as their beliefs or opinions don't fly in the face of what is acceptable in a modern society---which these days seems to almost always involve politics and what cable news tells those who follow politics as a sport is or should be right---you should not be offended.

I know full well a segment of my friends will be offended at this post. And I'm okay with that. Like many--I have friends with differing views on what is right and what is wrong in the world and how it is portrayed. Life is about diversity of opinions and to have a wide, broad range of views to keep yourself diverse and properly informed. If we don't agree politically by no means does or should it mean we cannot be friends.

We don't all have to agree about the things people do or the things people say---it's not expected by anyone. The problem--in my view---of today's society is that you have to be either conservative or liberal and one view has to hate everything the other stands for without thought or middle ground. And unto itself is the root of far too many of these arguments.

There's nothing wrong with identifying yourself as one viewpoint or the other. But to not be willing to understand or respect the right of an athlete...or someone who's politics differ from yours to make a stand for what they feel is an injustice is just plain wrong. (And again---the nut jobs in Charlottesville don't qualify for this---the advocating of nut-job Nazi or racist beliefs in not acceptable under any circumstances in any universe.)

So I applaud Marshawn Lynch and respect Colin Kaepernick. They are trying to draw attention to something they feel needs to be discussed. And if kneeling for the National Anthem is what gets the conversation started...then so be it....

And besides. It's my blog, if you don't like or agree with what I'm saying here---that's your choice, you don't have to....

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