Why Many White Women Should Reconsider Their Opposition to the NFL Protest

I have to admit that there have been many comments made by Friends here

on social media since the election season last fall that surprised me; none has

disappointed me more than the recent wave of posts by white woman, who

are either my friends or acquaintances, and have written posts in response to

the NFL peaceful protest yesterday. They emphatically asserted politics

should not be brought into the NFL. They called the protestors unpatriotic,

ungrateful, disgraceful and un-American.

Dear White Women Who Authored Such Posts,

Sports has always been about politics. Did you know that women of my

mother’s generation were prohibited from playing most sports, and when

they were allowed to play basketball, they can only play half court, because

men at the time believed women’s bodies lacked the endurance to run full

court? How do you think women got to play full court, have their own

teams, run their own leagues?

Before you cast an aspersion about NFL players, knock on the door of your

daughter’s room and tell her that she can’t play sports. She can knit. She can

join a sewing club. She can become a cheerleader. Then tell your daughter—

as many told my mother’s generation—that she can’t go to college, but she

can get job. She can be a secretary or a nurse or a nun. Oh, and if she wants

to get her own apartment. Dag. She can’t. Because during my mother’s

generation, single women had to live at home with their parents or in a

boardinghouse with other women, because you see many were prohibited

from getting a mortgage to buy a house or to start a business. Their husbands

or their fathers had to cosign for them. Now you might say to yourself, what

does this have to do with the NFL protest?

Let me put it this way. You were not able to get a job or an education or buy

a house or send your daughter off to a soccer game because you are a hard

worker or because you studied a lot or because you went to college or

because you are a good mother. You got to do this and much more because

women before you made people uncomfortable about their politics. Because

women before you protested in places where they had the largest audience.

Because women before you did such a phenomenal job of paving the way

for you, that you actually believe that your success is a result of your hard

work alone; you actually believe that your daughter’s soccer trophy is

because you drove her to early morning practices. We are all here, because

of people who came before us, because of people who protested.

And that flag is not just about the history of American War for Independence or the men and

women in the military today, its also about the legacy of the many women from

generations ago, who fought for your rights, and its about time you kneel to

it.

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