Take a Seat

There was a question posed yesterday on Facebook and while not directly posed to me, I thought I would provide a response from my own perspective.  What makes this factual is that it is a factual account of my opinion and how I arrived at it – nothing more. 

Before Colin Kaepernick took a knee, I did not know who he was, nor did I care.  I live in Decatur, Alabama and if I watch any football at all, it’s when the Tide is playing.  I heard about Kaepernick taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and my thought (MY THOUGHT) was, why here?  Why now?  The national anthem (for me) celebrates the entire country and everyone in it.  If I were to protest police brutality I would do it by protesting the police – at a police headquarters.  That was my first issue.  My second is that not all police inflict brutality.  The majority are public serving minded protectors who genuinely try to do his/her best when responding to the calls they receive.  So, while police brutality is a cause I can certainly get behind objecting to – I felt it was the wrong forum.  We have many veterans in this country.  Of those I know personally, they have spent the entirety of their lives after returning home dealing with some trauma or another endured while serving.  I believe with my whole heart that to protest during the anthem (something that significantly represents all they sacrificed to defend) is wrong.  My third is that he is an NFL player and while on the field, he represents the NFL (not Colin Kaepernick).  Should he have done an interview, been a guest appearing on a TV show and brought this to the public’s attention at that time, I would have been all for it as he would be speaking personally.  But that was not how he chose to do it.  For what it’s worth, I also find it terribly irritating when Hollywood actors do this type of politicizing on award shows.  I understand that this is the only time that “we” see them as themselves – not portraying someone else, so I give that a bit of latitude.  But my preference is that they not do it during that time.  NOT that they not do it at all. 

When the public responded to the NFL boycott, admittedly it did not phase me.  I do not watch the NFL and so many hundreds of thousands of others do I felt that the handful of those who were shouting boycott would not impact the business as an entity.  I do, in retrospect, feel that it was also very convenient for me to dismiss it because I was on the side of the objection and frankly did not care.  Thus, no outrage.  That is not a part of myself that I am either proud of or happy with.

As for the Nike boycott, believe it or not, I seriously did not hear about it or pay attention if I did.  I’m not a runner.  My sneakers are New Balance (I’m a walker).  Interesting, I have a cousin who is high up in the Nike corporation.  I don’t keep in touch and again didn’t give it a thought.  It was completely not on my radar.

GOYA, a product I have never used (not once) came across my feed and I objected to the boycott because this man spoke as a person….not at a board meeting using the weight of the corporation he heads behind him, but just as a person supporting the president of his country.  To boycott the company because of the statement of one individual, to me, would punish others who had nothing to do with his statement – nor would it change the opinion of that one man. 

When our country sanctions another, it is to get the attention of that country’s leaders to change its behavior either in trade deals, treatment of its citizens, etc.  To punish (and that is in effect what a boycott does) the masses for the speech of one who is not speaking on behalf of the organization they happen to belong to – is wrong.

Again, for me personally, it boils down to are you using your own weight to object or are you using the weight of an entire organization you happen to work for to make your point?  Was it their idea as an organization or did you just independently decide to avail yourself of its collective power to do so? 

So there you have it.  Perhaps not the best of explanations, but an honest response to a valid question.  I’m not saying I’m right and everyone else is wrong.  I am sharing my perspective and trying to offer insight into my rationalization of the events.


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  1. Dave Grossbard on July 12, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    Thanks Ellen

  2. Melissa on July 12, 2020 at 10:32 pm

    Well said