Sports and politics

In this week’s edition of The Press and The Times, one of the inserts is the Fall Sports Edition. One of my personal favorite little extras that we do. I love sports and I enjoy the young adults and adults that take time out of their day to make those activities possible. I was able to interview for boys’ soccer, girls’ soccer, football and cross country. With two new coaches this year and the other two are still ripe in American Falls sports.

During my interviews, I talk with the coaches some and also get to talk to the seniors on the teams. What a special experience. Many are still somewhat nervous and soft spoken, which is surprising since I remember how I was when I was a senior in high school. Being able to ask them what they think of the team and how they will do this year, you get to see people with high potential and amazing outlooks on not only sports, but life in general. Although they are a little weathered by society and their surroundings, they still have an innocence to them that most adults lose from wisdom and time.

Sports and politics don’t really seem to go together when you dissect them, but in the grand scheme of things, they coincide flawlessly. Recently, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers decided to sit during the national anthem. Many people are appalled by it and it reminded me of when I was in high school. My father wrote a column once saying something like “If I ever see my son not standing with his hand or hat on his heart during the national anthem, he won’t want to sit down after I’m done with him.” Something along those lines. Although I would never sit during the national anthem, it doesn’t anger me like most people that he decided to exercise his rights and not stand.

If you look into why he did it, most people should agree with him. My opinion probably won’t be very popular on this front but he has his right, just like everyone else, to stand, or sit, during the song. Military fight and sacrifice their lives for people to choose freely what they believe in. He never said he hated America or doesn’t want to be here. He simply said that there are a lot of injustices that he doesn’t agree with. He feels disrespected by many people that honor the flag blindly.

Again, I stand and honor the veterans and military that have fought and died for my right to be here and say what’s on my mind. I’m grateful for that, but everyone has their rights as human beings. On the other side of it, everyone has the right to agree or disagree with what I’ve said and with what that player has done. You have the right to be offended and you have the right to protest.

There are a lot worse things that go on in the NFL and with players that we root for, so this shouldn’t be that bad of an issue. He has brought to the surface issues that lie with racism, sexism and prejudices. Whether we accept it or not, racism is real. Sexism is real. I don’t agree with not standing for the national anthem, but I do agree with people using their God-given rights to express their feelings.

To end this column, I’m grateful for the military and law enforcement members that allow me to express my feelings and keep us safe. I’m thankful for those members that honor the flag correctly and also the members that honor the badge on their uniform, correctly. Although that athlete’s methods might be unorthodox and rub people the wrong way, what he is trying to accomplish, is what everyone should want in this world. Equality.

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