There are now college and high school players across the nation disrespecting the National Anthem as well. Last week, the entire Bonnabel High School football team knelt during the anthem, as did three Carver High School football players last night.
The supposed reason for the protest is to highlight police brutality and racial injustice. While this protest is generating plenty of national attention, statistics show that many more white individuals are killed by police officers every year. In addition, among all African Americans killed in this nation, 94% are killed by other African Americans. This “black on black” violence is truly a plague on urban areas such as Chicago and New Orleans.
In urban areas this year, violent crime has significantly increased, especially after the Ferguson and Baltimore riots. In the aftermath of this out of control violence, police officers have been less proactive and aggressive in dealing with violent crime. The real losers of the police pullback have been the African Americans in urban areas who have been victimized by this increased violence.
While the longstanding problems are ignored, the media's attention has been focused on the National Anthem protest and the supposed epidemic of police brutality against African Americans. The players participating in the anthem protest are only engaging in a “feel good” exercise that accomplishes nothing.
Just like gun buyback programs and gun free zones do nothing to reduce gun violence, the anthem protest does nothing to help people living in urban areas.
Our real problems are caused by the breakdown of two parent families, the poor public schools in urban areas and the failure of government programs which were designed to lift people out of poverty.
While ignoring real problems and solutions, football players are protesting the anthem to look cool to their classmates and friends. This gives them positive attention from their peer group, but it has not been well received by others.
For example, the Bonnabel High School Alumni Association canceled several fundraising events because of the anthem protest. Also, some donors have rescinded their contributions to the football program.
Several Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office deputies are also exercising their 1st Amendment rights by refusing to provide security at games involving Bonnabel High School. According to Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, “The same way that the Bonnabel players have every right to kneel during the national anthem, my officers have every right not to volunteer to work the Bonnabel high school football game.”
So this stunt by Bonnabel players has cost the team financial support and the protection of some Jefferson Parish deputies.
While the media highlights and encourages the protesters, my view is that congratulations are in order for the Bonnabel Alumni Association and the deputies who took action after the insulting anthem protest.
What the players are doing is their “right,” but it is also incredibly disrespectful toward our veterans and those who have served our nation in the military. The flag and the anthem are powerful symbols of the greatest nation on earth. Most Americans understand the positive connotations, but it is unfortunate that so many misguided athletes do not appreciate what makes this country so special.