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Thread: Article: "My father died in battle and I support Kapernick"

  1. #1
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    Article: "My father died in battle and I support Kapernick"

    Interesting points made, IMO (even if written by a Chiefs fan):

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/27/o...ol-left-region


    By KELLY MCHUGH-STEWARTSEPT. 27, 2017 , New York Times



    I went to my first Kansas City Chiefs football game in December 2010, six months after my father, Army Col. John McHugh, had been killed (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/world/asia/21afghan.html) by a suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan. The team sent my newly minted Gold Star family pregame field passes and seats only a few rows behind the team’s bench.

    When we got to our seats after spending pregame on the field, I knew the national anthem was coming — and I knew how hearing this song would make me feel. (Even today, I still can’t listen to “The Star-Spangled Banner” without crying.) But when we stood to listen to the Eli Young Band, everything went wrong. They got the second verse wrong, and then got it wrong again when they did it over.


    “Get off the field, you’re drunk!” yelled a woman behind us who sported red-and-yellow face paint and seemed drunk herself.

    Once the band finally reached the end of the song, instead of singing “home of the brave,” the entire stadium screamed “home of the Chiefs!” They had replaced “brave” — a word that, to me, represented my father, a man who spent 24 years in the military and gave his life for the country — with a mascot. My blood boiled.
    “They do it at every game,” my boyfriend at the time whispered to me. Like it was no big deal. Just a football thing. The following year, I enrolled for college at Kansas State University, some 130 miles west of Arrowhead Stadium. At my first Wildcat football game in Bill Snyder Family Stadium, as I barely held myself together during the national anthem, the purple clad K-State fans shouted “Chiefs” in place of “brave.” We’re not even at a Chiefs game, I thought. Again, my blood boiled.

    When it comes to “disrespecting the national anthem,”
    people have been doing it for a long time. They do it because they’re drunk or because it’s tradition or because they just spent $200 on tickets and they are pumped to be in a stadium alongside tens of thousands of other fans. I worked in both professional and collegiate athletics for five years, and in both venues, I never felt like “The Star-Spangled Banner” got the respect it deserved. To the average fan, I observed, it was just something to get through before the main event.




    So, I’m surprised at the number of white people on my Facebook feed who are offended because black football players are kneeling for the national anthem. As a Gold Star daughter — and, to be clear, I am not speaking for all Gold Star families — I’m not offended by what is happening in the N.F.L. right now. At least these players are “disrespecting” the national anthem for a cause.

    Not once during these peaceful protests have I gotten the sense that the players’ intention is to disrespect the military. Not once did I feel that they were taking my father’s ultimate sacrifice for granted. Rather, they were exercising the exact freedoms my father gave his life for.
    Protests are not supposed to be comfortable. They are supposed to incite change — and what these players are doing is working. Everywhere you look someone is talking about racism in the United States, all because a group of athletes have taken a stand. Whether it offends you or not, this is what a successful protest looks like.

    Someone I know on Facebook wrote this:
    So many better ways they could be helping their “cause” they could use their time and money to make their point or make a difference, but oh wait … that would require some sort of effort or sacrifice on their part. Does this get attention? Sure. But probably not the right kind. And it’s certainly not going to create any change.
    Sure these “spoiled babies” (words I pulled from a different Facebook post) could do other things to make statements, like donate money to causes or maybe make a statement in a news conference. (By the way, they’ve been doing these things for a long time already.) But the audience they are targeting by kneeling will never see those other efforts. The family sitting next to me at a restaurant, this Facebook friend of mine, the president of the United States of America — perhaps none of them would be talking about it without those protests.

    My Facebook poster writes, “it’s certainly not going to create any change.” But I have to disagree. It has changed me. When the former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt for the first time during the national anthem last year, it made me angry. I wanted to scream at the television: “How could he! My father died for this country!” But when I finally stepped back and looked deeply into why he was kneeling, I realized it was not my place to be upset. It was not my place to tell other Americans how to exercise their rights.


    To those who criticize Mr. Kaepernick: Before posting your rant, consider why these football players are kneeling. Try to understand their side. Read James Baldwin or Toni Morrison or Margo Jefferson; I guarantee you will look at things differently.

    And consider this:
    The president of the United States is more outraged by the actions of football players than by the actions of white supremacists. Let that sink in. Is there anything more offensive to the United States military than flying the American flag next to the Nazi flag? Talk about spitting on my father’s grave. President Trump gave white supremacists a pat on the hand, while black N.F.L. players get called “sons of bitches.” If that’s not proof of racial inequality in America, I’m not sure what is.

    I will always respect my country’s flag and national anthem.
    To me they are the symbols of freedom, of my dad’s sacrifice. But my father did not die for symbols. He died for people. He died for the rights of all Americans, regardless of their race or religion. Right now, some Americans still face inequality. So they protest and create change. And I applaud them.


    Kelly McHugh-Stewart (@kellystewart01 (https://twitter.com/kellystewart01)) is a student in the master’s program in creative writing at the New School.

    Last edited by SanAntonioSteelerFan; 09-27-2017 at 03:21 PM.


    We got our "6-PACK" - time to work on a CASE!

    HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!

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    I agree with the points. But the bottom line is, for whatever reasons, the majority of NFL fans have made it clear that they do not want the Anthem used for any kind of protest or demonstration. They just don't want it. Wrong place, wrong time.

    So, it has to be decided if continuing to irritate fans is worth it. Can the players make a decision to stop using the Anthem as their demonstration vehicle? Or does it have to be made for them? Or will everyone just agree to keep on keepin' on and watch NFL ratings continue to decline for some period of time?

  3. #3
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    Her father died for the rights of all Americans. He died for the freedoms that we all hold so dear. The right for our citizens to peacefully protest in an effort to bring about positive change in our country wherever inequalities exist. If not for that, women would have never been granted the right to vote in this country, black men would still be counted as three-fifths of a white man, etc.

    A politician trying to prevent the ability of its citizens to peacefully protest by saying that those sons of bitches should be fired is profoundly un-American. In democracies, different people are able to express dissenting opinions without fear of governmental oppression. A Head of State attempting to mandate exactly how all citizens are supposed to act during patriotic ceremonies (and threatening consequences for any dissention) sounds more like what you might expect to hear from a dictator in North Korea, Iran, or Libya than here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eich View Post
    I agree with the points. But the bottom line is, for whatever reasons, the majority of NFL fans have made it clear that they do not want the Anthem used for any kind of protest or demonstration. They just don't want it. Wrong place, wrong time.

    So, it has to be decided if continuing to irritate fans is worth it. Can the players make a decision to stop using the Anthem as their demonstration vehicle? Or does it have to be made for them? Or will everyone just agree to keep on keepin' on and watch NFL ratings continue to decline for some period of time?
    I think the Steelers organization has realized the error of their ways (see Rooney letter to fans, Pouncy comments, BR comments) etc.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    Her father died for the rights of all Americans. He died for the freedoms that we all hold so dear. The right for our citizens to peacefully protest in an effort to bring about positive change in our country wherever inequalities exist. If not for that, women would have never been granted the right to vote in this country, black men would still be counted as three-fifths of a white man, etc.

    A politician trying to prevent the ability of its citizens to peacefully protest by saying that those sons of bitches should be fired is profoundly un-American. In democracies, different people are able to express dissenting opinions without fear of governmental oppression. A Head of State attempting to mandate exactly how all citizens are supposed to act during patriotic ceremonies (and threatening consequences for any dissention) sounds more like what you might expect to hear from a dictator in North Korea, Iran, or Libya than here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
    I seriously wonder if the 25th amendment could be invoked here to remove the president. Seriously, isn't a president who doesn't fundamentally understand the freedoms guaranteed to every citizen mentally fit for the office. I think it can definitely be argued that Trump is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

    Women don't take him seriously. Minorities definitely don't. Foreign born citizens can't.

    Seriously before the next election, we should make it a law requiring every citizen 18+ to vote. Make sure it's easy for every citizen to vote. Trumps minority of supporters that were a high enough % of the voters are a shame. Of the 100M people that didn't vote, I can't imagine many would have voted for Trump. I doubt most of them would have voted for Clinton either. Someone else could have won by a landslide if everyone was required to vote. It's a shame.

    It's a shame we don't have legit choices. We're always picking from the lesser of evils. I'd never vote for anyone just to cast a vote against someone else. That seems mindless to me. If we put None of the Above on the Ballot and forced voter turnout, I would bet dollars to donuts, None of the Above would win.

    The whole electoral college is a sham. I think people should remind Trump all the time that he didn't win the popular vote. I'm sure that still irritates his ego. What other president still talks about their former opponent nearly a year into their term. Clearly we have a pres with a small package. There's no other explanation that makes sense. It's the only reason he could possibly be so insecure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuthlessBurgher View Post
    Her father died for the rights of all Americans. He died for the freedoms that we all hold so dear. The right for our citizens to peacefully protest in an effort to bring about positive change in our country wherever inequalities exist. If not for that, women would have never been granted the right to vote in this country, black men would still be counted as three-fifths of a white man, etc.

    A politician trying to prevent the ability of its citizens to peacefully protest by saying that those sons of bitches should be fired is profoundly un-American. In democracies, different people are able to express dissenting opinions without fear of governmental oppression. A Head of State attempting to mandate exactly how all citizens are supposed to act during patriotic ceremonies (and threatening consequences for any dissention) sounds more like what you might expect to hear from a dictator in North Korea, Iran, or Libya than here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
    Very well said.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by flippy View Post
    I seriously wonder if the 25th amendment could be invoked here to remove the president. Seriously, isn't a president who doesn't fundamentally understand the freedoms guaranteed to every citizen mentally fit for the office. I think it can definitely be argued that Trump is "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

    Women don't take him seriously. Minorities definitely don't. Foreign born citizens can't.

    Seriously before the next election, we should make it a law requiring every citizen 18+ to vote. Make sure it's easy for every citizen to vote. Trumps minority of supporters that were a high enough % of the voters are a shame. Of the 100M people that didn't vote, I can't imagine many would have voted for Trump. I doubt most of them would have voted for Clinton either. Someone else could have won by a landslide if everyone was required to vote. It's a shame.

    It's a shame we don't have legit choices. We're always picking from the lesser of evils. I'd never vote for anyone just to cast a vote against someone else. That seems mindless to me. If we put None of the Above on the Ballot and forced voter turnout, I would bet dollars to donuts, None of the Above would win.

    The whole electoral college is a sham. I think people should remind Trump all the time that he didn't win the popular vote. I'm sure that still irritates his ego. What other president still talks about their former opponent nearly a year into their term. Clearly we have a pres with a small package. There's no other explanation that makes sense. It's the only reason he could possibly be so insecure.
    It's interesting that you cite the US Constitution when convenient (to fit your political interests), yet rail against it (the electoral college) when it hasn't fulfilled your political interests. I agree with your statement on the picking "The lesser of two evils". That's all the more reason why there shouldn't be a law REQUIRING (unconstitutional BTW) all citizens 18+ to vote.

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    How do you know he didn't always think the Electoral College was a sham? I agree that you can't force people to vote.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.wizard View Post
    How do you know he didn't always think the Electoral College was a sham? I agree that you can't force people to vote.
    I don't. My post was based on his words up to this point.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
    It's interesting that you cite the US Constitution when convenient (to fit your political interests), yet rail against it (the electoral college) when it hasn't fulfilled your political interests. I agree with your statement on the picking "The lesser of two evils". That's all the more reason why there shouldn't be a law REQUIRING (unconstitutional BTW) all citizens 18+ to vote.
    Some things make sense. Others don't. There's always been amendments to the constitution. While I don't think the 25th needs amended, I do think the Electoral College is a questionable system that may be outdated.

    Also no reason you can't make a law that requires voting. What's the harm? I think it would be a positive. Should be easy for everyone to vote. At the end of the day, it shouldn't be about politicians working the system to win the electoral college and making it harder for others to vote. It think that cuts into individual freedom in a negative way.

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