There actually is a reason an NFL player might not stand for the flag
So Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett and former Seahawk Marshawn Lynch sat on the bench during the National Anthem this past weekend.
The last line of the Anthem is “Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave, For the land of the free, and the home of the brave.”
Except, when the National Anthem was written in the early 1800s, most black men were not living in the land of the free. For them, it was the land of the slave.
Under that flag, a white man could purchase a black man under the threat of violence and force him to work hard labor against his will for his entire lifetime. Under that flag, a black man was considered 3/5 of a human being. It’s still in the constitution. Look it up. Under that flag, a black man was property for the first 100 years it flew.
A few weeks ago LaDainian Tomlinson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In his speech he talked about his family tree and wanted to tell a different story: “The story of a man I never met, my great great great grandfather George; 170 years ago, George was brought here in chains on a slave ship from West Africa. His last name Tomlinson was given to him by the man who owned him.”
It makes sense to me that some people might not want to pledge allegiance to the flag the flew over that slave auction.
The United States flag flew over slavery for nearly a century until it was legally ended in 1863. It took another 101 years for the civil rights bill to be passed. So under the US Flag, for 200 years, it was legal and accepted for a white man to either own or legally discriminate against a black person.
It makes sense to me that some people might not want to pledge allegiance to that flag.
You might say, “Well Ron, that was a long time ago. Things are different now.”
Really? OK, do this for me, type “more likely when black” into your Google search bar. You don’t even have to read the articles, just the headlines.
But here’s some samples:
New York Times: “Killings of Blacks by Whites Are Far More Likely to Be Ruled ‘Justifiable'”
CNBC: “Black Medicare patients more likely than whites to be readmitted”
NY Daily News: “Black drivers more likely to be cited and arrested”
Time Magazine: “Black Kids Are 10 Times More Likely Than White Kids to Die”
NBC News: “Black Troops More Likely to Face Military Punishment Than Whites”
Google tells me it found 87,200,000 results for my search. I won’t read all of them to you.
There seems to be a lot of reasons why a black man might not want to stand and pledge his allegiance to the flag.