This week's version of "anthem antics" started with the players and owners meeting to try to figure out a solution to the national anthem situation that contributes to the leagues TV ratings falling 15% in the last two years. It ended with Houston Texans' owner Bob McNair screwing up the cliche "We can't have the inmates running the prison." The correct phrase is "we can't have the inmates running the asylum." The inmates have not run the prison since Paul Crewe quarterbacked the "Mean Machine" in 'The Longest Yard".     

Despite McNair's profuse apology, the players seemed to be hurt more by those words than any hit they ever took. This is a very important issue for the players. There was more intense kneeling this week. Bob McNair has now been added to the list of reasons why players are protesting along with police brutality, racial injustice and of course Donald Trump.  

The players can protest all they want. They have their job, they have their money, they  have their futures. But now the protests are getting down to the high school level.

Last Friday night, two officials walked off the field after players from Monroe High School took a knee against visiting Manalapan. What worries me about high school athletes taking the knee is that they don't have their futures set. They need to impress colleges and future employers. Could someone of decision making power see them taking that knee and go in another direction, possibly a future employer. You can't take a knee in the pros if you're not given the chance to get there.

I'm not sure how much experience Monroe High School athletes have with police brutality or racial inequality, but if they did, wouldn't it be more of a proactive moment for those athletes to bring in the police to the school and set up the dialogue so that they  get a better understanding of the police and what they do?  Perhaps relationships can be forged between the two that will help both for the rest of their lives.

I've been listening to both sides of the anthem argument for weeks. While I can sympathize with those who have experienced police brutality and racial injustice and I don't doubt that it exists on some level with all races, I don't believe taking the knee for the anthem was the right protest. It doesn't seem to affect change as much as aggravate people to the point that they are turning away even more angry (see down ratings). You can't effect change if no one's there to hear it. Time to come up with another way.

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