From The World Of Parks & Recreation
By Doug Comer
Imagine yourself at a Pop Warner football game. You go to see your kid test his skills on the gridiron. You get there early enough to see the warm-ups and the captain’s meeting at mid-field for the coin flip. And, as they do in all sporting events across America, they ask everyone to rise for the playing of our Star Spangled Banner.
While the Anthem is being played, you scroll down the line looking for your favorite player wearing number 12. Some of the kids have their hands over their heart while others stand tall with their helmet under their arm and the other arm at their side. Three quarters down you see your child, and he is taking a knee.
As a parent, you are faced with a difficult decision. Are you to be mad at him for doing this or respect him for his belief? I guess if you were to do a survey and ask various age groups, you would get different responses from those parties.
The grandpa who lived during Vietnam or even the Korean War eras would run out on the field and tackle his grandson on a 42 sweep and lay the hide to him as they would say in his day. The father, who was a college kid during the Gulf War, would think of it as a form of disrespect and take a stern approach to discipline.
Then there is today’s parent. A kid does something wrong and you get put in “time out.” WOW! Back in the 1970s, my parents boasted about cracking the belt to my backside when I got out of line, all while entertaining friends and family at a fondue party.
What is this world coming to? People not respecting the flag or the meaning behind it. Is Colin Kaepernick’s protest an eye opener or is it a way to add salt to America’s wounds.
Personally, I was sickened to see the four Miami Dolphin players taking a knee on September 11th of all days. No matter what their reasons were they still disrespected the families of those who lost loved ones on that day. And, these four players combined salaries equals to thousands of family’s incomes in third world countries. And you took a knee because you feel that your country is not being fair. Now, that is an eye opener.
Yes, the United States is bruised right now. Drugs are flooding our streets and country roads and it grows worse every day. Besides that, look at who our choices are for President in November. It’s not very good. I do not know the answers to fix things. But, I do know when I hear the Anthem or see the flag waving I forget all the bad with our country.
We need to realize that we are in a world where kids gravitate to what they see on television or the computer. Kids often mimic their idols and that is where we need to be more careful of the decisions we make while in the limelight. I see kids at the park shooting 30-foot jump shots because they see Steph Curry doing it. It is just a part of life.
I do not mind someone viewing their opinions in a non-violent manner and I do hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our approach needs altered slightly as we do not want to mislead the kids into believing that this is the new version of “Tebowing” from 2011. And parents must inform their kids of the purpose and even give their opinion of the subject.
But, I will end things with this last thought.
Americans have every right to voice their opinions no matter what the circumstances are and it was our ancestors who fought for that given right. And they needed a symbol to lead them along the way. And it just so happened to be a flag representing our country; the land of the free and the home of the brave.