If you will, please indulge me and suffer from one more column about pro sports athletes not standing for the national anthem. This just keeps coming up and yes, I am tired of this whole thing and wish we could go on to other issues. But, I read a column the other day that caused me to stop for a moment and think about it differently.

If you will, please indulge me and suffer from one more column about pro sports athletes not standing for the national anthem.  This just keeps coming up and yes, I am tired of this whole thing and wish we could go on to other issues.  But, I read a column the other day that caused me to stop for a moment and think about it differently.
I said for a “moment” because then after pondering more on what the writer had to say I had to rethink my rethinking.  I know that my English is not so good at times but you know it’s the thought that counts – right?  
The writer of the column phrased the whole situation in the context of those that protested against England in the 18th century – ultimately culminating in the American Revolution.  The writer was not implying that rebellion was around the corner but likened the athletes to those protesters in wanting to affect social change.
Now, as I said, this caused me to think until (and that until is important) I did the comparison in my own mind and that is when I rethought my rethinking.  As I did that I couldn’t bring myself to equate our early patriots to the current protesters.  To me it didn’t even come close.
Our founding fathers fought for the right to self govern and to be free from the tyranny of an oppressive government that sought to stifle dissent.  Today’s protesters are fighting for what I’m not sure.  Colin Kaepernick says (and I am quoting the column’s writer) his decision to take a knee was based on “perceived societal wrongdoings against African-Americans and minorities in the United States.”
So it was based on “perceived societal wrongdoings”.  I don’t dispute that there are tensions among the races in this country and that we can and should do better.  But, don’t think that “perceived” issues rise to the level of tyranny, stifling dissent and an oppressive king that our forefathers were protesting.  Just me of course but I don’t see the same thing.
And, now the current protest is more about protesting the President’s propensity to speak first and think second than it is about “societal wrongdoings” against minorities.  The ones taking a knee now seem to be more interested in “solidarity” than they are in changing society.
The other part of this whole equation that bothers me has to do with the risk involved in protesting.  Our founding fathers risked everything they had (including their lives) to rise up against England.  Our pampered pro athletes are risking exactly what?  

They get hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of dollars to play a game in stadiums often times financed by public tax dollars and the average taxpayer can’t even afford to take their family to watch them.  And what are they risking by protesting?  Absolutely nothing – except the disdain of those taxpayers that are mad as hell about their disrespect.

Now someone might say that Kaepernick lost his job.  You might argue that he had actually “lost” something and that he was courageous to take his stand.  Well, now enters his lawyer to file a grievance with the NFL accusing the owners of colluding to keep him from working.  

And, I’m sure they will demand that either the league pays him off or demand that someone hire him.  Wow, again not sure that I would compare him to our country’s patriots.

The right to protest and speak out against injustice is the very foundation of what makes this nation different and great as compared to other nations.  The First Amendment is the most precious freedom that we have in this nation.  And, I stand up for anyone’s right to “kneel” in protest.

But, you probably should know what it is you are protesting and be ready to sacrifice for your beliefs.  Our forefathers did that but pro football players – not in my mind and I don’t buy the comparison.

 I will end with something to think about.  I have an old pair of work boots that I absolutely love to wear.  The company doesn’t make that style anymore so I try to make them presentable by putting polish on them and buffing them out.  I can hide the real condition until finally polishing won’t help.

I compare my soul to those boots.  I can do a lot of things to make me feel good about myself and to give a good impression to others (just like polishing old boots).  But, it is what lies under the polish that really matters.  And that I will leave to you to ponder.

Kevin Wilson writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.