Sit, kneel or stand

on September 2017 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

There have been far too many occasions (more than I would care to admit) that I wasn’t sure whether I was coming or going. This weekend was the first time however where I didn’t know if I was kneeling, sitting or standing. Much of that was because of the brouhaha over social media in regards to anthem protests, while some of it was a deserved show of affection for a truly iconic local sporting hero.

It was hard this weekend to ignore the Twitter battle between President Donald Trump and most of the NFL athletes and the NFL owners. It ventured further with NBA players and owners and now even MLB and the NHL are involved. It was both funny and sad. We all know this started last year with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the US national anthem. President Trump, obviously entitled to his opinion, was not in favour of it then and he isn’t now. That hasn’t changed. What is curious however is why this past weekend he took to Twitter to not only restate his opinion but to tell the NFL owners that they should fire Kaepernick and anyone else who doesn’t stand during the anthem.

Some beautiful language there from the President and it may have been a good attempt to goad one of his NFL owner “friends” to fire someone. The reaction was typical. More players protested than normal. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell who I have hated for quite some time deserves full respect for defending the players. Owners voiced their disapproval in different ways as well. Some owners stood arm-in-arm with their players, some teams did not leave the locker room during the anthem at all and some players still decided to take a knee. So I am not sure if the President’s tweet was to attack these protesters or to help strengthen their resolve. It actually doesn’t matter because what it did do, is distract everyone away from the real issue at hand and that is dealing with the problems of the American people.

So much has been spewed back and forth about what is disrespectful and what isn’t but the President has not said anything about what the protest is about. He doesn’t have to answer for his lack of response either, he can just make a few idiotic comments about the type of protest and the press and public will easily get diverted away. Wouldn’t it be absolutely incredible if he would use even half of the energy he is putting in discrediting the protest into something more important like… oh I don’t know, maybe the reason for the protest itself? I know, I know, I am an idealist and that is too much to ask for. So let’s get back to important things like counting how many athletes stand, how many sit and how many kneel during the national anthem because peaceful protests is the biggest problem that needs attention paid to it. Speaking of counting, we can now add 1 singer to the list of those who knelt while he sang the anthem.

Hopefully the last thing I have to say on the subject is that I find it ironic how “patriotic” the President believes he is when he condemns those that don’t stand for the flag or the anthem as it disrespects those who have died in protecting it. Those military men and women did not die, they were killed. Killed by nazis during World War II. Yet the President in all of his patriotic glory calls Kaepernick an SOB but says nothing about those nazis in Charlottesville, you know those who give allegiance to those that actually killed Americans. Mind Boggling.

What isn’t as mind boggling however, is the number of standing ovations dedicated to Jose Bautista this weekend in what may be his last game as a Toronto Blue Jay. I know, what a leap from protests, but I can’t let it pass without mentioning that as controversial as he was at times, as polarizing as he was at times, he gave the Blue Jays everything he had. Statistically he is one of the best offensive players this team has ever had and his postseason home run bat flip was one of the greatest sports moments in Toronto history. I know things didn’t end the way the Jays or he would have liked, but thank you Jose… thank you.

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