By Joe Darby
I haven’t had a rant in a good while. But it’s time.
Measured by a yardstick of how much they really contribute to our society, professional athletes in the United States are among the most overpaid people in any profession. Compared to the salaries of people in the military, the police, firefighters, nurses and teachers, the extent of their overpayment is truly obscene.
But they can catch a football, hit a homerun or sink a basket better than almost anybody else, so they make millions a year. It would be nice, therefore if they, in turn, were good citizens. Some of them are donating big bucks to worthy charities. But many of them are poor role models, with allegations of drug abuse, domestic violence and downright thuggery being quite common.
So these guys now take it upon themselves to disrespect our country by kneeling, sitting or whatever when the National Anthem is played.
It started out, they say, because they wanted to protest injustice and violence in our country. For a few decades now, some of our citizens have expounded on all of the wrongs the US has committed in its history. As if any country on the planet were free of injustice and violence.
But the disrespecting of the Anthem by athletes is spreading, now that the Tweeter in Chief has begun contributing his two cents to this national conversation. With all the tact and diplomacy of Attila the Hun, President Trump has only added fuel to the fire and stirred the pot. Sometimes he just needs to put down his electronic hand-held device on which he Tweets and simply shut up for a while.
But most of my wrath in this rant shall be reserved for the kneelers, the sitters and the otherwise unthinking jocks.
They owe a heck of a lot to this country. This country has been darned good to them. But they choose, like a near sighted, narrow minded simpleton, to see only the bad. Sure, there’s been bad, and a lot of it, with slavery being the worst. But, as alluded to above, every nation on earth has a violent history and traditions of injustice.
The Europeans fought each other in wars for centuries, killing each other by the millions, then took over much of the rest of the world for a couple of hundred years.
Asians, including the Chinese and Japanese, have quite violent histories, with war-like traditions of conquering weaker peoples. The Samurai were not gentle folk, for example.
Africans often had intertribal wars and are still having them today. Arabs have been aggressive since Mohammed first preached jihad in the 700s and Arabs held black Africans in slavery well into the 20th century, many decades after slavery ended in the West.
Before the coming of the white man, American Indians fought each other, with the highly sophisticated Aztecs, among others, routinely engaging in human sacrifice. Tribes as near as the Natchez, in what’s now Mississippi, did the same.
So, one must conclude that it’s not the US of A that is a tough neighborhood, but the whole of our planet. The story is called human history. Now I’m not saying two wrongs — or even many wrongs — make a right. But to single out one’s own country, in view of our planet’s often sorry history, just seems wrong to me.
So I say, jocks, lay off disparaging your own nation, do a little constructive thinking and be grateful for what America has provided for you. This weekend, the Saints will play in London. I hope and pray that they do not pull the kneeling routine on foreign soil.
But, given the mindset of these physically gifted but often unthinking young men, that may be too much to hope for. But, hey, surprise us, guys.
Do what’s right, why don’t you?