Protest off the clock

First, I must identify myself as a WASP woman and one of the masses. With that said, I wanted to give my opinion about the NFL’s new policy to stand or sit in the locker room during the national anthem.

I have worked all of my adult life and part of my adolescence and never was permitted to discuss or promote my views on politics (and religion, for that matter) while in any venue associated with my job on penalty of being fired. Athletes and celebrities who do so lose any respect that I might have held for them.

There is one actor I have seen on television who handles his activism out there with the masses, not through his workplace (for example, the Oscars) and that is Martin Sheen. His political views are polar opposites of my own, but I respect the way he goes away from the workplace, stands with regular people and sometimes even gets arrested right alongside of them.

Standing for the anthem, in my opinion is and always will be a patriotic act and an honor shown to all veterans.

Rashad Robinson states in the paper Thursday, “This is white supremacy, period … strips black athletes of their voice.” White people make up a sizeable percentage of football’s fan base, so the first point is just so much divisive blather. And the second point, as I’m trying to say, also makes no sense. Any average American cannot voice political views at the workplace. We get fired. So we go elsewhere if we want our views known. So, players, go outside the stadium and give voice to your views. That’s all you have to do.

Bree Newsome is upset because “the white-owned NFL blackballed (Colin) Kaepernick.” I hate to break it to you, but Kaepernick is not that good a player, because if he was, he’d have a job regardless. Take a look at the background of some other players, for example, Michael Vick, Josh Gordon and Ray Lewis. Gordon is playing and the other two are now retired following years of playing.

It is possible that his actions labeled him a rabble rouser and any boss is leery of hiring someone who can potentially cause problems for the company. And how can the poor little rich boy even consider himself a spokesman for the black masses? He doesn’t have a clue what they’ve been through or for that matter what a WASP like me has been through. Sorry, I prefer an activist like Sheen, who may not know the experiences I’ve had, but is willing to stand with the common people.

Derrick Johnson says, “the owners desire that players (1) bury their heads, (2) and shut up.” Not true, Johnson, but (3) “just play football,” that one is. Football players can lift their heads and say whatever they want, just not in their workplace, the same as the rest of us.

Why don’t all those players grow up and decide to live in the real world? Show themselves to be patriotic Americans, one who does not disrespect the flag of the country that allows them the freedom to voice their opposition to anything they consider unjust. Just do it outside the workplace like real people do.

You think football is just a game?? Football is a business, a very big business and when the actions of a few, at the workplace, lose big money for the many, the owners have to step in.

The solution: Anyone can protest anything. It’s a free country. Just step off your high horse and do what we of the masses do: step outside the workplace and say anything you want. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

Shari Burkholder,