It is time for NFL Players to stop being intimidated by the NFL Owners

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It is time for the NFL to become more in line with the NBA and MLB when it comes to its treatment of the players that risk life and limb to play the game. The NFL owners are not concerned about the players or fans they only care about  lining their own pockets.  Football is the most violent sport, yet it has the worst player contracts and health insurance.  It is time for the NFL players to say enough of being treated like chattel.

The only way change can or will happen is if key players like Tom Brady, Cam Newton, Ben Roethlisberger, Richard Sherman etc. take a stand against the owners. Tom Brady needs to stop hanging out with Robert Kraft and be about the players.  Key players in the NFL tend to separate themselves from the rest of the players, which is stupid and not a “team” mentality. NBA and MLB players are about the good of the team, not management/ownership.  My recommendation is for key NFL players to sit down with key members of the NBA and MLB Players Associations and brainstorm about the best way to tackle this mess with the NFL owners.

One of the things they’ve got to do is put a plan in place to tear down the current establishment and it can’t be done on a whim. The players need to meet and develop a strategy for a lockout, which includes telling players to start saving their money and be frugal because they’re going to be in for a long fight.  The current leadership of the players association must be ousted and new leadership ushered in.

Another problem with the league is some of the players have the tendency to be very negative towards each other, which keeps the players association from becoming a more cohesive and strong organization for the players. The owners have created an environment of fear and intimidation and that has resulted in the players not having a voice.  Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles has challenged other white players to join in support of the protest that several African American players are engaged in with respect to the National Anthem.  Alex Smith was asked about the situation with Colin Kaepernick and he’s just as perplexed as everyone on the outside looking in as to why Kap is unemployed and Kap took his job.  What’s happening with the NFL is not about the National Anthem, it’s about being fair and just to the players and the owners refusal to do what’s right.

At the end of the day the players can’t depend on the owners for support, it’s time for the players to take control of their own destiny and fight for what’s right.  It’s time for the Joe Montana’s, Peyton Manning’s and Jerry Rice’s of the football world to take a stand and fight for the rights of players.

1raregrl

#nflplayershealthinsurance4life

#dougwilliamsNHOF

NBA Owners vs. NFL Owners

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It’s my opinion that NBA owners are more progressive than NFL owners. Some people want to say it’s “old money” versus “new money.”  It is my opinion it’s ignorance vs progression, plain and simple.  As the old saying goes “Ignorance is Bliss.”

It is blatantly evident that the NFL owners decided to blackball Colin Kaepernick because he openly expressed his displeasure with the police brutality taking place in this country against people of color by kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem. The Miami Dolphins chose to hire Jay Cutler, who had retired from football and was a mediocre quarterback at best, instead of giving Kap an opportunity.  The Baltimore Ravens sent a survey to fans and ultimately decided not to hire Kap.  This kind of blatant shunning of a player is sickening.  Colin has not committed any crimes, beaten his girlfriend or broken any laws but because he chose to exercise his constitutional rights, the owners have blackballed him under the guise of “fear of losing” fan support, which is garbage and we all know it.

I never approved of what Colin did, not because I felt that he was wrong but because I knew this would be the end result of not thinking his actions through. At the end of the day, a person cannot do what they want to do on their employer’s dime, without suffering the consequences.  That being said, NFL owners lack the mental fortitude needed to become more of a player oriented league and stand up for what is right.  NFL owners are greedy and don’t really care about the players or the fans.  They only care about lining their own pockets and to hell with everyone else.

Mark Cuban said it best when he was asked to provide his thoughts on the Colin Kaepernick situation, Cuban said: “I don’t know what his status is in the NFL, but I’m glad the NBA doesn’t have a politician litmus test for our players.” “I’d like to think we encourage our players to exercise their constitutional rights….  Cuban’s statement reflects the difference between NBA owners and NFL owners.

I’m going to end this blog with Cuban’s statement because in my opinion that sums it up in a nutshell.

1RAREGRL

#nflplayershealthinsurance4life

#dougwilliamsNHOF

 

 

 

 

Chasing the G.O.A.T., Why?

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Why have the media pundits started identifying certain athletes as the G.O.A.T? What is that all about?  This kind of nonsense has athletes chasing shadows and records of players that were “great” during their era.

Some of the G.O.A.Ts are: Jerry Rice, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady, Michael Phelps and the list goes on but at the end of the day, current players just need to focus on their own game and stop chasing ghosts from sports past.  LeBron James chasing Michael Jordan may have impacted his ability to power through and compete at the level necessary in the NBA Finals.

The media pundits would have you believe they coined the “G.OA.T” but in actuality it was Muhammad Ali that really used the phrase “Greatest of All Time” and he did it more so as a media ploy and to send his competitors into a tailspin in order to gain an advantage over them in the ring.  Ali didn’t care anything about chasing the record of another boxer, he was only concerned with his performance and beating his competitor.  Athletes today are allowing the media to send them into a tailspin to the point where they’re losing sight of the importance of playing their game.  Please stop measuring your performance by other athletes, just be you and let the chips fall where they may.

It has gotten so ridiculous that Michael Phelps has filmed a show for the Discovery Channel where he will be going up against a “Great White Shark” for ocean supremacy, really?  The shark reigns supreme in the ocean and that goes without saying.   That being said, I guess this is the society that we’ve become.  I’m not taking anything away from Michael Phelps, he’s the most decorated swimmer of his time, just like Mark Spitz was the most decorated during his time and that’s reality.  As a matter of fact, Lynn Swan was the greatest receiver of his time, like Jerry Rice.  Bill Russell was the greatest of his time, like Michael Jordan.

Sports pundits lets’ put this in perspective and let players play their game and stop chasing “ghosts of athletes time” that are gone and in the record books.

1raregrl

#nflplayershealthinsurance4life

#dougwilliamsNHOF

At This Tick Of The Watch It’s All About Skill and LeBron James has Skills

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As I watched game three (3) of the Cavaliers and Pacers, I wasn’t shocked that the Pacers were leading in the first half. I would have been shocked if they were losing.  After all, they were playing at home and the Cavs hadn’t been playing much defense in recent months.

That being said, my expectation was that the game would be closer than what it was at half time.  It was great seeing how hyped up the Pacers players were and the energy from the crowd because that brings another dimension to the home team.  However, that same hype can be a turning point for a team and I knew the Pacers were going to lose game three when Stephenson made a great shot and screamed “this is our house” on the court.  I looked at him and said, “The Pacers just lost the game.”

There was something inside of me that said, the Cavs will come out in the second half and play like the champions they are.  What I didn’t expect to see were Kyrie, K. Love and T. Thompson sitting on the bench most of the time but that was one of the best coaching decisions T. Lue has made during this playoff series.  It also speaks volumes to the professionalism of the starters on the team.  They were well aware that for whatever reason they didn’t have it that day and the other team members did so they encouraged Coach Lue, to allow the other players to play and leave them on the bench.

Another very important thing that was shown was LBJ’s ability to elevate the game of the other members on the team.  LeBron was absolutely amazing in that game and he has proven time and time again why he’s by far the best player in the NBA right now.  I’m not taking anything away from Westbrook, Curry, Paul, Thomas, Leonard, Harden and the list goes on but LBJ is in a league all by himself and his skills are dominate on the court.

I was watching the game and screaming every time LBJ sailed down the middle of the lane and Pacer players just moved out of his way because they knew there was nothing and I do mean nothing they could do to stop him.  LBJ can be named the MVP each season but that’s not what he’s about, he is about the team effort and winning championships.  His determination is unmatched in my book because when he gets’ that look in his eyes and lowers his shoulders, that’s when you know it’s all about skill and LBJ has a lot of skills.

1raregrl

#1raregrl#nflplayershealthinsurance4life

#dougwilliamsNHOF

Professional All-Star Games: A joke or what?

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Fans have been asked to PAY and sit through “All-Stars” games for the NFL, MLB and the NBA for far too long and get nothing in return. The attendance at the NFL Pro Bowl saw decreases through the years when it was held in Honolulu but attendance increased when it was held in Glendale, Arizona and Orlando, Florida in 2015 and 2017, respectively. I am not a fan of the NFL Pro Bowl because there is too high of a propensity for players to be injured playing in a game that doesn’t mean anything.  With respect to the NFL Pro Bowl, it is my recommendation that the players be given a lettermen jacket and a check.  Stop requiring the players to play in a game that could result in them having a career ending injury.

The MLB All-Star game was a joke initially because there was no incentive to win and if there was a tie, the game could end in a tie, which resulted in fans crying foul. In an effort to prevent tie games and provide additional incentive to win, MLB reached an agreement with the players union to award home-field advantage for the World Series to the champion of the league that won the All-Star Game.  After several extensions it was agreed that awarding home field advantage to the winning league would remain in place until 2016.  Starting in 2017, home field advantage in the World Series will go to the league championship team with the highest regular season win-loss record.  I wonder if this change will cause the game to go back to having tie games and the players not having an to incentive win.  Only time will tell.

The NBA All-Star game is a total joke and something needs to be done sooner rather than later. Fans spend a lot of money during All-Star weekend and are not getting a return on their investment.  The skills contest, 3-point shooting and dunk contests are absolutely horrible.  Why don’t more players participate in the contests? Why are only four players participating in the dunk contest?  Yet, during the “joke” all-star game several players are dunking like crazy?  Why didn’t Steph Curry and James Harden participate in the 3-point shooting contest?  The all-star game is supposed to be the elite of the elite in the league and they should give the fans something to cheer about.  Instead, they are boring people to tears and charging fans a fee to see them be the Harlem Globetrotters.

Some fans of the game are saying the players are afraid to lose because it could impact their brand. Really, I thought being a competitive basketball player was their brand and more importantly their job. If that’s truly the case, these players are selfish and don’t need to play in the All-Star game.

Fans pay to see a competition, not men patting each other on the back and feeding each other’s egos. If this continues, my recommendation is to give the NBA All-Star players a lettermen jacket, a check and let them be on their way as well.  There is no need for fans to pay to see weak performances.

 

1raregrl#dougwilliamsNHOF#nflplayershealthinsurance4life

Douglas Lee “Doug” Williams Nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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Dear Hall of Fame Committee:

As an avid football fan, and graduate of Grambling State University, I am hereby nominating Doug Williams for consideration to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  My decision to nominate Doug Williams was based on a number of factors.  I am aware that each nomination is carefully reviewed by the committee to ensure that the person being nominated has “strong” credentials representative of the time the person spent in the League.  That being said, it is my belief that in some instances, consideration should go beyond the numbers on a page and that’s why I’m nominating Doug Williams.  Doug Williams should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame because he changed the game and he provided a point of reference for other young African-American men dreaming of becoming an NFL quarterback.

When Doug was drafted in 1978 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who didn’t become a football team until 1976, he was only the second African-American quarterback to be drafted by an NFL team, which was nine (9) years after James “Shack” Harris, another Grambling football player, was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in 1969 to be an understudy.  Doug’s contribution to the game of football goes beyond “the numbers on a page,” which is based on what the player accomplished on the field.  Doug showed strength and perseverance in the face of adversity.  When he was drafted in 1978 to be the “starting” quarterback, not an understudy, for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he was only paid $120,000, which was well below what other white starting quarterbacks and twelve (12) backups were being paid.  In that season he took a hit that resulted in a broken jaw that caused him to be out the remainder of the season.  As with most quarterbacks he focused on his health and was ready to return the following season.  Coming off of a broken jaw in 1979 he lead a very young Buccaneers team to its first NFC Division Championship but lost the Conference Championship to the Los Angeles Rams, ironically, the team James “Shack” Harris was the starter for nine (9) years earlier.

Doug was the starting quarterback for the Buccaneers for five (5) seasons and of those five (5) seasons the Buccaneers made the playoffs three (3) times and that speaks volumes in my mind. After the 1982 season Doug asked for a raise that would give him a salary of $600,000 which Coach John McKay championed for but management refused to budge from their meager offer of $400,000, which resulted in Doug leaving the NFL and going to the newly formed United States Football League.  As a result of Doug’s departure the Buccaneers didn’t see another playoff season for fourteen (14) years.  Clearly, Doug as the starting quarterback for the Buccaneers made a difference and without him the team took a nose dive.

Coach Joe Gibbs recruited Doug to the Washington Redskins in 1986.  Coach Gibbs was familiar with Doug’s talent because he was the offensive coordinator for the Buccaneers when Doug was drafted.  As a result of Coach Gibbs belief in Doug’s abilities, Doug became the first African-American quarterback to start in an NFL Super Bowl.  As you may recall, the Washington Redskins were not considered to be the favorite, the Broncos were highly favored to win the Super Bowl under a very capable John Elway.  I recall this moment like it was yesterday, Doug went down and his leg was bent backwards and as a result he was taken out of the game for one play.  When he returned to the game, the lights went out on the Broncos.  He became the “first” quarterback in Super Bowl history to pass for four (4) touchdowns in a single quarter and four (4) touchdowns in a half.  He was the “first” quarterback to throw an 80-yard touchdown pass in a Super Bowl.  He set a Super Bowl record of 340 passing yards and he rallied the team back from a 10-point deficit, the largest at that time and scored 42 unanswered points, which may still be a Super Bowl record.  In addition to his record setting Super Bowl, it was capped off with him being named MVP.  Doug was the “first” African-American quarterback to be named MVP and he retains that title today.

Doug Williams epitomizes what the Hall of Fame is about and that is determination, the pursuit of excellence and a willingness to win.  Its Doug Williams shoulders that every African-American quarterback coming into the League after him has been standing on because he set the standard for them to follow and improve upon.  He showed them that through adversity and challenges, you can still come out a winner if you’re willing to work hard and give 100% no matter what the circumstances are.

As the committee goes through the selection process of approving the players for the 2018 Hall of Fame, keep in mind that the Buccaneers were a newly formed team when Doug was drafted and they were still trying to build a program.  Doug’s numbers represent a quarterback playing for a new team that had no idea about the importance of surrounding the quarterback with a strong offensive line, so that he wouldn’t be pounded more often than not.  His numbers do represent his willingness to win and his ability to win in spite of the situation.

Doug was inducted into the College Hall of Fame in 2001. Therefore, it is only fitting that he be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

 

Doug Williams Stats: The Numbers on a Page

PASSING
Year Team G Att Comp Pct Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G TD TD% Int Int% Lng 20+ 40+ Sck SckY Rate
1989 Washington Redskins 4 93 51 54.8 23.2 585 6.3 146.2 1 1.1 3 3.2 46 0 0 2 10 64.1
1988 Washington Redskins 11 380 213 56.1 34.5 2,609 6.9 237.2 15 3.9 12 3.2 58 0 0 10 88 77.4
1987 Washington Redskins 5 143 81 56.6 28.6 1,156 8.1 231.2 11 7.7 5 3.5 62 0 0 7 53 94.0
1986 Washington Redskins 1 1 0 0.0 1.0 0 0.0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 39.6
1982 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9 307 164 53.4 34.1 2,071 6.7 230.1 9 2.9 11 3.6 62T 0 0 11 128 69.6
1981 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 471 238 50.5 29.4 3,563 7.6 222.7 19 4.0 14 3.0 84T 0 0 18 135 76.8
1980 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 521 254 48.8 32.6 3,396 6.5 212.2 20 3.8 16 3.1 61 0 0 23 194 69.9
1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 397 166 41.8 24.8 2,448 6.2 153.0 18 4.5 24 6.0 66T 0 0 7 57 52.5
1978 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 194 73 37.6 19.4 1,170 6.0 117.0 7 3.6 8 4.1 56T 0 0 6 69 53.4
TOTAL 88 2,507 1,240 49.5 28.5 16,998 6.8 193.2 100 4.0 93 3.7 84 0 0 84 734 69.4

 

RUSHING
Year Team G Att Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G TD Lng 1st 1st% 20+ 40+ FUM
1989 Washington Redskins 4 1 0.2 -4 -4.0 -1.0 0 -4
1988 Washington Redskins 11 9 0.8 0 0.0 0.0 1 4
1987 Washington Redskins 5 7 1.4 9 1.3 1.8 1 7
1986 Washington Redskins 1 0.0
1982 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9 35 3.9 158 4.5 17.6 2 14
1981 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 48 3.0 209 4.4 13.1 4 29
1980 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 58 3.6 370 6.4 23.1 4 27
1979 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 35 2.2 119 3.4 7.4 2 16
1978 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10 27 2.7 23 0.9 2.3 1 7
TOTAL 88 220 2.5 884 4.0 10.0 15 29 0 0.0 0 0 0

 

#1raregrl#dougwilliamsNHOF#nflplayershealthinsurance4life

Bring back the Fullback Position for Continuity and Stability in the League

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BRING THE FULLBACK BACK TO PROMINENCE

The media would have fans believe that people are not watching/attending football games because Kaepernick and other players in the league are kneeling during the National Anthem.  Please, the National Anthem only last a few minutes and most fans are not sitting around their television sets watching the National Anthem being played.  The truth is the games are boring because the coaching is bad, the play calling is awful, the commentators are horrible, tickets, parking and food are too expensive.  Also, DirectTV is the only game in town to see all of the NFL games and it’s becoming too expense as well.

Why are football games so boring?  The game turned into a quarterback one dimensional game with QBs and coaches being changed out every couple of years because teams are not winning with that formula. Two key positions that are critical to the success of a team is the running back and fullback.  These two positions are not valued as much and for some teams no longer part of the offensive strategy.  Thankfully, we’re seeing a resurgence of the running back this season and it’s been a pleasure to watch.  The flip side of that however, is the position of the fullback which has been completely destroyed and has resulted in the game being destroyed.  Those of you reading this blog, please don’t confuse the running back with the fullback.  I know it’s been awhile since the fullback position has been a topic of conversation but it’s time to talk about the importance of this position and the need for it’s return.  The fullback position, although an offensive role, it’s also the second line of defense for the quarterback and the running back.  When a team has a strong fullback, like Daryl Johnston or Tom Rathman, pressure is taken off the QB, the running back and the offensive line.

Having a strong fullback can relieve pressure on the GM to go out and deliver a solid offensive line every season.  Let’s face it, every team in the league can’t have a great offensive line so other viable options must be incorporated into the offensive strategy of the team.  If the team has a good fullback that’s extra protection for the QB and the running back.  Additionally, having a good fullback adds to the stability of the team.

Removing the fullback position has made the game less exciting and it has created instability in the league.  It is my opinion that the fullback position is a critical role that needs to be returned to prominence.  The fullback plays two key roles, one is blocking for the QB and the running back and the fullback can run the ball as well.  If teams have a good running back and fullback the offensive options can be limitless.  Picture this, a mobile QB, a good running back and a good fullback this combination can keep the defense guessing what the next move is.  Commentators talk about the “West Coast Offense” and how great this spread out offense is.  Newsflash, when Joe Montana was running the “West Coast Offense” he had Tom Rathman blocking and running for him which was instrumental in the 49ers championship success.

The NFL didn’t do a smart thing by placing all of the pressure on the QB to throw the ball down field and rack up points. That has become stale and fans are no longer interested in watching games where the game is won by the team that has a lot of touchdowns.  Fans are being subjected to mindless football where there is no strategy being executed.  Instead we’re subjected to mindless commentators yammering on about how it’s the QB’s fault that the team is not winning.  Teams are not winning games because the offensive strategy is too one dimensional.   There was a time when teams had have several weapons to go to and the QB was just one of them.  College games are more interesting because the coaches have the talent to make adjustments.

Case in point, when Jalen Hurts, the freshmen QB for Alabama, ended up at Alabama, Coach Saban told him that he would teach how to be a pocket QB.  Well, guess what, Coach Saban didn’t force Hurts to stay in the pocket, he adjusted his offense to Hurts strengths and developed the team around him.  That’s great coaching!!!!

The NFL has allowed high schools and colleges to dictate the type of players that are being hired in the league.  The fullback position doesn’t exist in high school or college any longer, which is a shame.  NFL teams need to get back to the game of football and stop allowing the media and money to dictate the game. Bring back the fullback position and pound the football down the field.

1raregrl

#1raregrl#nflplayershealthinsurance4life

Athletes and Drugs: Is it primarily an NFL Thing?

 

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It has long been a question in my mind given the number of NFL athletes that are sanctioned for illegal use of drugs each year, if NFL athletes are the biggest offenders. I just don’t get it.  Sadly, most of the athletes in the news are NFL players so I decided to research 2016 and determine which professional sport has the most athletes either fined or suspended for drug use.

Based on the information I was able to locate for 2016 from Spotrac the numbers are as follows:

  • NFL suspended or fined 32 athletes;
  • NBA suspended or fined 2 players; (O.J. Mayo has been banned for 2 years); and
  • MLB suspend or fined 82 players and this number includes minor league baseball players as well.

Spotrac is a source that tracks suspensions/fines assessed on players by all of the professional sports teams. If you would like to check my source you can go to www.spotrac.com/nba/finessuspensions.

Another piece of information that I found interesting is that a lot of these players are suspended or fined for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) use. Athletes are also suspended/fines for issues related to domestic violence, fighting, illegal hits etc., which the above-referenced numbers do not include.  Unfortunately, drugs whether it’s PED or some other substance is the biggest problem.  One thing to keep in mind is that 2016 is not over so more fines to come.

The leagues make an enormous amount of money from these suspensions/fines. The NFL is making approximately $16M in 2016 from these suspension/fines.  I can understand when tempers flare on the field and a fight breaks out because as the old saying goes “boys will be boys” but the drug thing is mindboggling.  They may as well just set their money on fire because that’s what you’re doing when you purchase illegal drugs and end up getting popped for it.

Are basketball players less likely to do drugs than football and baseball players? With respect to my initial question, clearly drugs are not just an NFL problem and NFL players are not the biggest offenders.  It crosses all of the professional sports and ethnicities but the problem is real and it’s one that has to be dealt with.

Should consideration be given to legalizing certain drugs?

1RAREGRL

#NFL#players#healthinsurance4life

Colin Kaepernick: Finding Middle Ground

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In any protest where people are seeking to make a change to social injustice, it’s important to find middle ground and that’s exactly what Colin Kaepernick has done in terms of his silent protest of police brutality and social injustice for African-Americans and people of color in this country.

Colin spent time with a Green Beret, 49ers Eric Reid and other individuals discussing how his protest could be handled in a manner that would be viewed as more respectful to the military and the country.  It was during these discussions that the decision was made to kneel, which is brilliant. I was worried initially when he started his protest that he would be let go from the team and as I stated in an earlier blog the last thing the black community needs is another unemployed black man.  However, his stance has gained momentum and backing from players, fans, athletes in other sports and just people in general.

It was important for Colin to find middle ground because the media was going to continue to find a way to vilify him, which is not what the media is supposed to do.  Kap made it very clear from the onset of his protest that he wanted to shine a spotlight on the way blacks and people of color are being treated in this country.  Also, he wanted people to start having conversations about the police brutality plaguing the country and the absence of justice being done with respect to these violent acts being committed by police officers.  I need to digress for one moment and remind people that police brutality is not new.  It has always been pervasive throughout this country’s history and culture.  With advances in technology, the public is able to record their heinous crimes for the world to see and that’s why people are more sensitive to the issue.  In addition to rogue police officers, the punishment for their behavior needs to catch up with the crimes they’re committing.

If you check out an earlier blog I posted entitled “How Do We as a Nation Stop Police Brutality” you will see the recommendations I believe need to be put in place in order to eradicate this behavior so I will not go into it in this blog. Back to Kap, his jersey is number 1 in NFL sales and he plans to donate all of the proceeds to groups fighting injustice in this country.  Police brutality is a difficult conversation but it needs to be addressed and it’s time for the punishment to fit the crimes rogue police officers are committing.

I’m happy that the media is backing off their vile, vindictive Kap stories, now if they would just write about the problems this country is facing and possible solutions, change might really start to happen. I’m sure you’re asking if 1RAREGRL still believes Kap’s forum was not the correct one, my answer is yes but keep in mind change requires that we make bold steps regardless of what people think and that’s what Kap did.

1RAREGRLE#kaepernick#boldmeasures

Colin Rand Kaepernick: Right or Wrong for Not Standing for the National Anthem and Flag?

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A number of people have asked 1raregrl where she stands on this issue and when a blog would be released regarding this issue.  As everyone knows, Kap has ignited a firestorm and much debate, both domestically and abroad, because he has elected not to stand for the American National Anthem and flag in protest of racial oppression of the black community and people of color in America.   People have been burning his jersey, the media has vilified him (as they have the tendency to do)and politicians have weighed in on the matter, including Donald Trump saying Kap should move to another country.

The good thing is, I don’t write or spew venom based on a reaction.  I like to sit back and take stock in a situation. That said, when this happened initially, I tweeted Kap and told him that it was not a good idea because it would lead to him becoming another unemployed black man. He doesn’t own the San Francisco 49ers and when you work for someone else, you don’t have the luxury of doing what you want to do if you want to remain gainfully employed. That is just fact.

That said, I have listened to reactions, read numerous articles, read tweets, etc. and now it’s my turn to opine on whether I believe Kap should continue to sit. Let me start by saying that I’m a black woman from the deep, deep South, born and raised in Mississippi.  I love the state of Mississippi but it is not without its good and bad.  In order to write this blog, I contacted by oldest living brother Coach Marcellus Singleton, a Vietnam veteran, and asked him for his opinion.  I now paraphrase what he said, which almost brought me to tears.

First, my brother was drafted into the United States Army to fight the Vietcong in Vietnam.  Just as our uncle before him, who fought in World War II, my brother was forced to fight in a war for our country, despite his personal feelings regarding it. Adding insult to injury, my brother wasn’t welcomed back upon his return to our country and no one thanked him for his service.  Subsequently, my brother obtained a coaching position in Northern Mississippi, and made history as one of the first black coaches leading his team to victory over predominately white programs. Conveniently, the principal of the school where he was employed, told my brother “the job was being phased out”; however, my brother knew the truth.  He was being “fired” for winning.  (Shaking my head) Fortunately, the Lord had a Ram in the bush and two weeks later he had a better job with a better salary and the rest is history.  

As a United States Veteran, sports professional, & survivor of the Jim Crow Era, I felt my brother could offer an invaluable perspective. He believes it is Colin Kaepernick’s constitutional right (under the First Amendment) not to stand for the anthem and flag, and as a black man who has lived through tough times in the deep South, he understands Colin’s frustration, although he would not take the same course of action. He reasoned that when you live in America and are privy to all of its goodness, a person should show respect.  In other words, you have to be able to take the bitter with the sweet.

What does 1raregrl say?  As I said earlier in the blog, when you work for someone else you don’t have the luxury of doing what you want to do, unless you’re okay with being terminated.  I believe Colin can do more for the cause employed than unemployed.  Do I understand where he’s coming from? Absolutely!!! However, I don’t believe the football field is the right forum.  

People, including Kap, need to understand that his protest has taken the focus off of the events surrounding racial oppression in this country, and the people who have fallen victim to such oppression in the recent months; i.e., the unarmed black man who was shot in the back; the Latino man who was shot coming home from work, the black woman who was taken to jail for a routine traffic stop and ended up dead in jail; the unarmed black man who was shot and killed after being subdued; and the unarmed black man whose neck was broken after being placed into the back of a police vehicle; and the list just goes on and on and on.  Now, all of the focus is on Kap.   I don’t believe this was his intent but it is how the media is spinning it.   It’s unfortunate because his heart is in the right place.

America has its problems, and slavery and racism is an ugly truth in our history and culture.  However, the meanings behind the American flag and anthem are honorable. It’s the execution by humanity that sucks.  I will continue to stand for the American flag and anthem, but I will also continue to be a voice for my community, and not shy away from expressing what I believe is right, and what I believe to be wrong.

I’m going to leave you with a thought. And anyone on Trump’s team, can give him this piece of food for thought.  My brother said that he knows white people in Mississippi who honor the rebel flag more than the American flag…so where should they be sent?

1RAREGRL#Kaepernick