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Force does not equal agreement

I've learned that if you ever have to force someone to do anything, they probably don't really mean it. If you have to make someone apologize, that apology isn't sincere. If you have to force someone to workout, they'll stop as soon as they can. If you have to force someone to believe your faith, then they don't really believe. Giving people the choice is the only way to make sure they really believe what they say they do.

And that brings me to the recent decision by the National Football League. On May 23, 2018 in the annual owner's meeting, the owners unanimously decided to impose fines on any team if a player or staff member does not stand during the anthem. This policy does give the player and staff member to stay off the field when the anthem is played...but if you're on the field you must stand.

To say it bluntly...I have many questions. The protests were never about the flag, but about the lives of men of color that have been taken through police violence. The players used their platform to stage a non-violent protest that caused no physical harm to anyone. Many people who are upset over the protest seem to overlook Constitutional clauses stating that the flag should never be held flat to the ground and cannot produce a time or way that players should stand up for what they believe. Now, the NFL is fearing an economic decline and is mandating that players stand in honor of the flag.

This legislation is very reminiscent of when Daniel and the three Hebrew boys were thrown in the fiery furnace when they refused to bow to the golden statue at the sound of music. Except this time, the music is the US National Anthem and the statue is the good ole stripes and stars. Their act of civil disobedience ultimately led them into the furnace, but they were soon saved by God. While some players are in more of the fire, I'm hopeful that the league will change it's stance. However, in the meantime, I'm reminded that if you cannot move your pencil, you are still allowed to move the paper. I'm hopeful that players will stay in the locker room during the anthem, that they will come out and raise their fist, or any other act that uses their platform to speak out about police brutality against men of color.

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