Team sports are more than just a pastime for the citizens of our country. Competition seems to be woven into the very fabric of America, and sports embody that perfectly.

When you think about it, Americans have been fighting ever since the first settlers landed here. Fighting with the wilderness that was America, fighting against Native Americans, fighting amongst each other over resources…

It just seems right that our warlike nature evolved into something a little more civilized.

Team sports have evolved over time…

Especially American football.

Football evolved from something that was all but barbaric with leather helmets and no facemasks to something that is practically ballet (albeit a bit more physical and a bit more violent).

Baseball has always been America’s favorite pastime…

But that all seemed to change after the MLB players’ strike during the 90s. After that, America shifted towards football in response to that whole debacle.

That may be why a lot of NFL fans felt betrayed when Colin Kaepernick started sitting, and then kneeling, during the National Anthem…

Now, we could debate for days what his actual reason for this was, but the fact remains that a vast majority of fans didn’t like seeing Kaepernick and other players kneeling during the National Anthem.

Like A Snowball Rolling Down Hill

The more prevalent it got…

The more people started turning off the TV – and the NFL’s ratings dropped to subterranean levels…

So, the powers that be, namely Roger Goodell, put the kibosh on it, mandating that players NOT kneel during the Anthem—and lo and behold, America started watching the NFL again.

However, 2020 is a strange year, and it seems that Goodell has done a complete 180 on this. Now, it looks like he’ll be allowing players to kneel after the George Floyd protests.

There are a LOT of players that have already voiced their plans to kneel – even though kneeling now makes no sense. The work is being done to fix things…

So kneeling now is just being done for the sake of kneeling during the Anthem.

However, there are a few players who refuse to kneel during the National Anthem, some due to their views on BLM, others on their view on God – but there’s at least one player that has a whole different understanding of what America and the flag means.

Appreciating American Opportunities

Stephon Tuitt, former Notre Dame star and current Pittsburgh Steeler, announced that he would NOT be kneeling when the season starts when he tweeted out, “’Also I’m not kneeling for the flag and screw anybody who have a problem with that. My grandmother was an immigrant from the Caribbean and she worked her ass off to bring 20 people over the right way. She had no money and educated herself to be a nurse. She living good now.”

Do you see it?

This man’s family knows what it’s like to work for the freedoms and opportunities America offers, and it was instilled in him from an early age.

He doesn’t take them for granted, nor does he want to disrespect the flag and Anthem of the country that has given his family so much.

So he’s already calling his shot…

And you’ve got to respect him simply for the fact that he knows how special it is to be an American.

It’d be great if others took a page out of his book and stopped taking this country and its freedoms for granted…

But we’re now a society that gives participation trophies and lets everybody play, so that’s going to be a hard course correction.

We can do it…

It’s just going to take some time—but as long as we have appreciative Americans like Stephon on board, it can be done.

 

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy