by James R. Campbell
The following is an essay regarding current events. The opinions expressed therein are not those of any other party.
Much has been made of recent events in the NFL. In the past two years, the actions of a few of its players have drawn attention to topics that are of prime importance: rape and family violence among them. The NFL has been forced to take a hard glance at its players and their conduct. Players who have been involved in these episodes have been subjected to penalty by the league as a consequence of their behavior. Johnny Manzell is one of the most recent examples. He has been suspended for a prescribed term for domestic violence.
I don’t think the penalty is harsh enough: it is little more than a slap on the wrist. For too long, in my view, sports figures have been given free passes when they commit these offenses, simply because they are famous athletes. When they engage in criminal activity, (let’s call it what it is), they should face the same penalties as everyone else.
Now we have the quarterback for the San Francisco Giants kneeling during the National Anthem in protest of racial injustice on the part of white cops who shoot blacks. At least, this is his excuse. Others are following his lead. One coach has made a ruling: those who don’t stand for the national anthem will sit out the entire game.
Let’s make this simple. Colin Kaepernick is setting a bad example for the rest of the players in the league; and it doesn’t end there. Other college and high school football teams are at risk of having somebody do the same thing, and we can’t forget the other sports.
On the other hand, The Seattle Seahawks locked arms during the National Anthem in a show of unity. I like that. Which one sounds better to you? Come on, let’s hear it! I wish more teams would do that, albeit not during the National Anthem. One prominent person remarked that social issues have no place in recreation. I couldn’t disagree more. Activities such as major sports events, which are viewed by hundreds of millions of viewers worldwide, are the perfect platform to promote the welfare of society. Sports owes society that much, and far more.
Maybe the Seattle Seahawks are beginning to learn a valuable lesson: competition kills cooperation. For too long, the players, and the fans have been consumed by the love of the game. This puts me in a difficult position: Dear works the local high school games every Friday night.
In Texas, high School football is almost a second religion. This is especially true in West Texas. Too much is invested in the rivalry between the teams, and the fans are worse than the football players. This is the very reason I show no interest in the games that Dear works every Friday night. It might be a different thing, if the Seattle Seahawks example rubbed off here. I must commend the Pecos football team, they played the Alpine, Texas team last Saturday night. The Pecos team held a moment of Silence out of respect for the Alpine team in light of a school shooting that took place in Alpine last Thursday. Cheers to the Pecos football team, and as always, thanks for your time.
About the Author
James R. Campbell, 61, is poet and writer living with total blindness. He has a Bachelor’s in psychology. He has written articles for the Matilda Ziegler Magazine and Consumervision. A a member of Behind our Eyes, Campbell has three poem collections on CD. They can be downloaded at Recordinglibrary.org. In his free time, he likes cooking, playing harmonica, reptiles, and keeping up with current events.