Make NFL players stand

By: 
Mel Anderson
Columnist

We’re heading back into football season, which means we’re heading full force back into a major debate.
Should NFL players be permitted to kneel for the national anthem?
To me it’s not even a question. We must make NFL players stand. It’s imperative to our nation and our culture and our way of life that those men stand.
And I know how to make them stand. It’s actually really easy.
Stop permeating racist culture.
If we stood with minorities, if we stood against oppression, racism, and the murder of innocent people of color; if we stood against the disproportionality of black men in prison and on death row, the disproportionality of families of color in poverty, the disproportionate number of white men in leadership, we wouldn’t have to worry about black men kneeling.
Because believe me, they want to stand.
They want to stand for a nation free from racism.
They want to stand as equals.
They want to stand and have their humanity recognized.
Until that happens, you can count on them to be on their knees, praying to God for deliverance from oppression, cruelty, racism and discrimination.
To anyone who is offended by men of color kneeling for the national anthem, I say to you, make them stand.
Make them stand by giving them the equality they seek.
Make them stand by ending the murder of young black men for nothing more than being black in America.
Make them stand by understanding the generational trauma of oppression that permeates our culture.
I am a veteran. I love my country. I would never desecrate a flag, but I love that my country’s constitution allows for the flag to be burned because what is the value of a piece of symbolic cloth when we’re talking about the murder of an innocent life?
I will always stand for the national anthem, but I will stand behind those people who kneel because I love the constitution that allows them to protest and say it’s wrong that we love a song more than we love the life blood of our own people; to say that our song should not be more important than a person’s life.
That is demeaning.
Because you know what means more to me than a bit of fabric and a song? A human being. I didn’t join the military to protect a flag, but to protect freedom from oppression and I’ll not allow the flag to be desecrated by thinking for one instant that its symbolism is more important than the actual human freedom it symbolizes.
You want NFL players to stand? Make them. Give them the ability to stand as respected, accepted members of our nation.
Make them stand by eradicating racism.

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