Friday, August 25, 2017

NFL Protesters are Children

It's interesting to me that the last post I made on this blog was 5 years ago...about Trump's leadership (or lack thereof). While it's tempting to address that again, I decided to go another, albeit just as controversial, route.

Cleveland Browns players take a knee during a recent Pre-Season game.
The NFL players protesting during the National Anthem are children.

Yes, that is meant to be provocative. But if you can get past either your glee that you agree with me or your hatred because I am just spouting more "white privilege," read on.

The Anthem protests are ostensibly about bringing attention to an issue that these players want to bring attention to. It's not working. Yes, we are talking...but we are talking MOSTLY about whether these players are un-American, or whether the NFL should punish them, or if this is a "free-speech" issue. None of those things are what the players wanted us to talk about. And that's THEIR fault.

Here's the explanation about the "children" comment. Many of us who have been parents of young children have experienced the joy of a child disagreeing with us and our parenting techniques. These young children wish to express their displeasure. Do they approach us as a calm human being with a cogent argument about why they think our actions were unjust, unfair, or wrong? No...heck no. They can't. They don't know how. They are children. Instead, they throw a fit and say things like "that's not FAIR!" "I HATE this place!" "I HATE YOU!" Yes, it hurts to be on the receiving end of this tirade but we also know, and try hard to remind ourselves, that they are children and don't know any better.

Thus the problem with these players. They may WANT to bring attention to a cause but they are actually doing more harm than good. They are creating negativity and adversaries simply because of the way they went about trying to bring attention to their cause. They aren't children because they have the ability to discuss an issue as adults. They have MANY means of bringing attention to their cause that MOST did not attempt. Those other ways would have resulted in significantly less backlash and significantly more discussion of what they actually wanted discussed.

This is the lesson or us as leaders. If there is something we want to or need to change, we need to realize we need to develop allies in that desire. We have to be thoughtful about the tactics we use to engage those who disagree with us so that we do not create MORE people who disagree with us.

Maybe these football players don't actually know any better. On the field, they adversity with violence. Hit someone hard and they will acquiesce. Perhaps this is why they are doing what they are doing.

But it is childish...

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