NFL: Players are people outside the game
After a few weeks of protests and kneels in the NFL, people are starting to realize that their favorite NFL players are in fact just people outside of the NFL…. *GASP!*
These people are not ultra-sophisticated men that grew up in aristocracy, nor are they “Beast”-like thugs that want to crush cans on their head. They are just like you and me, they have families, and friends and people that they know that they might only send a Christmas card to. They had a life before they made it to the NFL and they might have one outside the NFL too. With that, comes experiences, both good and bad that have an effect on the psyche, just as it would on anyone.
With that said, I find it very encouraging that the players in the league right now are so politically motivated. Think about it. We have a group of 20 to 35-year-old guys (up to 45 if you count kickers, which some don’t) that not only care about the direction of this country and are willing to use their popularity to influence it, they are THE role models for our kids. Not like the ones we had in our youth, the historically-hyped linebacker that was steroid induced maniacs, or the flashy gold plated necklace wearing ultra-cocky wide receiver/ defensive back that talked way more trash than most could back up.
These players are just trying to keep their friends and family safe by starting a conversation that America needs to have, all while having their every statement analyzed and emphatically argued upon by every media handle on the air, or net. They are taking the risk, that they will be dropped by their sponsors, or berated by their one-time fans, or lose millions in contract value, all to make the place we Americans live in better for everyone.
I have heard Doug Baldwin talk about his police officer father in Florida that he was not sure would come home every night, or how a police officer held him at gunpoint during a traffic stop. I have heard Richard Sherman talk about the fear he had every day walking home from school passing by drug dealers, and bodies on the street in Compton.
But the one thing that each of these players talks about is not the way they are angry (well except for Doug Baldwin, anyway), they talk about changing the community for the better and they talk about Unity as a country, and about accepting the different people in the world for their beliefs without the judging them.
They talk about being able to converse with someone with the idea of coming to some type of agreement, even though sacrifice must be made on both sides to get there. Furthermore, they talk about how that want these discussions, not because of their race, or financial status, or political party affiliation, but because they are normal people outside of the NFL, and citizens of this great country, and want to make it a better place.