Lanterns: The NFL, Social Media, and Reality


The NFL, Social Media, and Reality

I have watched with detached interest all the hoopla over the kneeling at NFL games.  Full disclosure—  I never watch the NFL or any other team professional sports for that matter.  I do enjoy PBR and PRCA, but more on that later.

Many years ago I tired of players’ antics both on and off the field/court. Much of this has permeated the college teams as well, so I rarely watch any higher level organized sports anymore.

Granted, there are many good athletes who live fine upstanding lives both in their sport and their community.  However, they are overshadowed by the bad actors and the fact that neither the team owners nor the NFL hold them accountable.  Like it or not, if you are a high profile individual, there is a responsibility to hold yourself to a higher level of accountability.

Yet, fame is power, and power tends to corrupt.

The temptations of women seeking to be near or sleep with a famous person (strictly because all these high profile people are men), drugs, financial deals… all offer a certain amount of a rush from the risk they have come to relish, as well as a sense of entitlement and expectation. It takes a strong person to avoid these pitfalls.

I’ve watched as people have had a meltdown over the kneeling at ball games.  People are calling for a boycott, announcing as long as this continues they will not watch and so on.  I think social media has made this much worse than it would be otherwise.

Whether we look at the owners, the NFL, or the fans … have we seen similar protests over the many charges of domestic violence, child abuse, animal abuse, rape and even murder?

The NFL claims they will not involve themselves in political issues such as this, yet they violate their own rules which require players to stand, helmets off, quietly and respectfully during the national anthem.  They also refused to allow symbols of support for slain Dallas police officers, 9/11, and other important events.

In all this, the end result is complaining and demonstrating on both sides of the issue.  While complaining and demonstrating bring awareness, nothing changes without action.  The President’s comments were not helpful, it only galvanized opponents to counter with more kneeling.  Neither side is addressing the core issue; both are simply reactionary.

I would suggest several things for both sides.  Fans, ignore these childish antics.  If you are disgusted by it, stop watching and buying their branded items, and even products of companies who advertise with the NFL.  But why do we need the validation of our decision by posting on social media?  Social media has made this into something of national importance.

It’s not.


To the athletes, I say use your fame and wealth to start a foundation or group to accomplish your mission, rather than focus on the one or two blacks killed by cops in a questionable shooting. What about the nearly 8,000 dead from mostly black on black crime? You want to make a difference?  

Act, don’t just act up!


We have a nation that is a runaway train headed for a chasm, and the bridge is out.  Health insurance premiums are projected to take another huge hike in 2018, the Republicans have proven themselves liars.  Only one or two really believe in smaller government and lower taxes.  Most see government as the solution rather than the problem.

This NFL issue is a pimple on an elephant in the scheme of things.  This is a peripheral issue; it does not matter.  It is a symptom, not the problem.  If you are more engaged in this than stopping an out of control government, then you are part of the problem.

Watch any rodeo event, professional or otherwise.  You will see respect for God, country, each other and the fans by the athletes, the event sponsors and the fans themselves.  I don’t watch racing, but understand it is very similar.

This sort of thing plays into the hands of those who seek to divide us.  Russia likes nothing more than to see us fighting amongst ourselves.  Did you know their involvement in our elections has been to divide and conquer?  They ran FaceBook ads for both sides of many issues to foment anger.

Wake up.  


Stop looking at band-aid solutions that never address the root problem.  There are groups such as Founder’s Keep, Hillsdale College, and others that center on education.  We simply do not know our rights or government’s place.  Convention of States Project, Heritage Action, Americans for Prosperity and many others actually act.  It’s past time we all stopped thinking that banging on a keyboard is a valid substitute for action.

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Written by Michael Murphy The Voice of Reason

The Voice of Reason

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