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Freedom of action, freedom of speech

September 16, 2016
Ashley Berg - General Manager , Pierce County Tribune

I'm not particularly a football fan.

Yes, I enjoy the local Panthers!

I don't mind going to a college game. To take in a NFL game, I can only imagine would be impressive.

However, I'm not a follower or a fan of any said team. I suppose I don't make time for it and truly feel that if they win or lose my tomorrow is going to come and go the same.

With times changing and everyone taking a stand, I haven't decided how I feel about the whole taking a knee during the National Anthem. The protest started with San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick. He called this attention to himself to bring awareness to blacks and other minorities. Now it is taking off and players across the NFL are not standing for the National Anthem.

This blows my mind! Every morning I try to catch up on national news even if it's just to catch CBS - "Your World in 90 Seconds". I've heard players and NFL team owners say things such as; "There is no disrespect to the military or to police officers" or "It wasn't out of lack of respect" or "We respect the flag and what it stands for". Is it just me or does this sound like an oxymoron?

As I watch the news in the morning and try to pull my thoughts for these gentlemen (if they deserve to be called that) and their actions - I start to ponder, does it matter? They're just football players what does it matter, they don't have any political clout, right? WAIT - these are role models for everyone - especially kids. So it's ok to not respect the flag to bring awareness? What if the new thing would be for a student to sit thru a local game because he or she wants to bring awareness to the serving size at lunch or the size of lockers? (Or whatever kids are protesting in school.)

However, I can see both sides, maybe it's hard for me personally because I do believe in the flag and hope that this country is and can be better then ever! Are words deeper than actions because why are we not burning jerseys, boycotting games, cable tv and sponsors?

That's what America did to the The Dixie Chicks after lead singer Natalie Maines gave her opinion on President George W. Bush just 10 years ago! They got kicked off of radio stations, groups were seen burning cds, promotional products were thrown off the shelves in box stores - you name it - they got hammered for what, "Free Speech"?

I was fortunate to go to their concert a couple of weeks ago. First it was an amazing show. But also inspiring and proud to see these women rise above - to stand up for their beliefs.

We may not always believe in everyone's convictions, but that is what our country was and is based on, correct? Freedom. But when is it too much? Stand up gentlemen, stand up.

 
 

 

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