Miles McPherson on The NFL and National Anthem: Can Racial Justice Go Beyond ‘Us vs. Them’ Mentality?

Courtesy of SD Rock/Nathan Maselli

The NFL kicked off this month in full force — without any fans in the stands. That isn’t the only difference in professional football in 2020, though. The protests against racial injustice and systemic racism have overlapped in the pre-game tradition of the playing of the national anthem.

In 2016, Colin Kaepernick first knelt to demonstrate awareness and protest against police brutality against the Black community. Though he wasn’t fined or removed from the league despite rules against not standing during the national anthem before NFL games, there was a lot of pushback from many people, including those in the NFL, about whether or not it was right of Kaepernick to kneel during the song.

Now, four years later, in the wake of racial unrest in our country, NFL teams are taking various actions during the national anthem. According to one NBC article, some players are kneeling, some are standing, and some teams are even staying in the locker room during the two anthems. The NFL decided to also play what is traditionally known as the Black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before the “Star Spangled Banner.”

It’s interesting to see all the choices that can be made in regards to this scenario. To many who are kneeling, you’re against those who are standing, or you’re supposedly anti-American flag. If you’re staying in the locker room, you’re disrespectful to those who have fought for our freedoms. If you’re standing, you’re a racist. If you make one choice, you’re against the other side. It’s a perfect example of an “us vs. them” mentality.

Let me ask this: Who would win in a battle between a bear and an alligator? It depends. What matters is where the fight takes place. If it’s in the water, the alligator wins. If it’s on land, the bear wins. It’s an us vs. them battle. That’s what we see on television, in the news articles, in social media — I have to win, you have to lose. I have to be right, you have to be wrong.

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SOURCE: Christian Post