FAGAN: NFL protestors don’t get it

Before you get all riled up about the NFL players disrespecting the flag by refusing to stand for the national anthem, keep in mind, they know not what they do.

If I were to sum up my philosophy of life it is this. If you make decisions based on what is true you will prosper. If you act upon information that is untrue you will suffer negative consequences. I realize there is an entire political philosophy that believes there is no such thing as truth or absolutes, and everything is relevant. This is why I have such a different world view than many of you. I’m not a bad person, neither are you. We just see things differently.

Most of the protesting athletes have been indoctrinated in an education system focused on America’s mistakes while ignoring her greatness. In addition to their slanted education they’ve also been told by the media, Hollywood, and Democrats that America is a racist country that oppress and suppresses those who are not white. They have come to believe something that is not true. Our country has made mistakes in the past but the last thing we are is a nation of racists.

The NFL protestors are blind to the reality that America is the least racist country on the planet today. There is no better place to live as a person of color than America. So many Americans don’t get how blessed this nation is and how fortunate we are to live in a country with such opportunity for all races and religions. Everybody gets a shot here.

Just as you wouldn’t condemn a blind man if he were to walk into your home and start to trip over the furniture, the same should be true for the protesting NFL athletes. Most of them are blind to how good they have it. They should see, based on the size of the zeros on their paycheck, but they don’t.

I realize many of you reading this column are experiencing some intense anger right about now. Your face may even be turning red. The belief we are a nation of racists is a fundamental tenant of the belief system of many of you. You believe to challenge that notion is in and of itself racist. Well, I’m challenging it because it is not true. I am not a racist.

I will admit that there are some racists in our country. People like Jeremiah Wright, David Duke, Black Panthers, and white nationalist Nazis. But this is such a tiny minority of our population they are irrelevant despite what the media tells us.

The NFL athletes have every right to protest on their own time. The problem is they are doing so on the job wearing a team uniform while they are paid millions. So that puts this on the NFL owners. If I owned a team I wouldn’t allow my players to disrespect the flag while they were on the clock. The NFL and team owners and players have every right to protest the flag and disrespect those who died to defend it. But as fans we too have every right not to watch.

We are seeing more and more of this in our country today. Companies like CNN, Starbucks, and other corporations, and now the NFL making a conscious decision to exclude those not down with the we-are-a-nation-of-racists-and-oppressive-country narrative. The question for those of us who believe otherwise, will we continue support companies and institutions pushing the false narrative?

The you are victim of a racist nation is a destructive message. Not just because it’s a lie, but because those who see themselves as a victim lose motivation to try harder. Why would you try harder if life happened to you and your problems are a result of your skin color instead of your decisions.

In America you can be whatever you want. If you come from a poor family, the government will take money from other families and pay for your food, housing, health care, and education. If you don’t make it, it’s not because you are oppressed. Chances are somewhere along the way you made some bad decisions. But it’s never too late no matter how down and out or old you are.

It’s time we wake up to the fact that we live in a country that is the envy of the world. And unlike the NFL protestors with their fat paychecks and ungrateful attitudes, let’s stop whining about it.

Dan Fagan is a former reporter for KTUU, and columnist for the Anchorage Daily News. He also taught at UAA as an adjunct journalism professor and he hosted a radio show for many years on KFQD. You can reach him at [email protected].


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7 Comments on "FAGAN: NFL protestors don’t get it"

  1. Dan, the problems with this article are many, but they are emblematic of many political and policy discussions in this country, ranging from health care, to taxes, to racial injustice.
    More specifically, just because YOU say you are not a racist, it means nothing in the context of America as a whole. Where are the overwhelming number of voter suppression cases in this country? Minority communities. What constitutes the overwhelming majority of incarcerated adults? Minority communities. And let’s be honest here, when I say minority, I mean black people. The gap in college graduation rates between black and white continues to grow. The income gap continues to grow. Home ownership among black people continues to dip, as does retirement savings. All of these things have huge implications on our society, and this ‘racial injustice’ is what is represented in these protests. And if you think all of things happen by coincidence, and have no relevant link to past policies, you are being naive.
    Our president is essentially racist-in-chief, full of dog whistle campaign rallies and mean-spirited rhetoric that plays to the basest instincts of people. If we were truly a nation devoid of racists – or only represented by a tiny sliver, as you suggest – then his talk and his actions would no longer have a place in this society.
    If you truly believe in what you write here, then I hope your next article will be an in-depth analysis of all the things that our President has done to quell racial tensions in this country, and his attempts to promote equality and improve the lives of black folks.
    In the end, you are chalking up people’s “failures” in life as a series of bad decisions they made along the way. Life is much more complicated than that. Millions of white folks are affected by hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters every year. Bad decision on their part to live in those places. But you know who steps up to help them? The American people, and their government.

  2. If people of color protest in the streets they are called thugs and rioters,if they have a rally they are called terroristic hate groups, if they take a knee they are called traitors just when does anyone think people of color have the right to object to anything? Is the “should be grateful “the new uppity? “ungrateful attitudes” do you ask Donald Trump to be grateful? Warren Buffett? this is a racial statement..

  3. Anyone recall the last potus that actively turned American citizens against each other? Recall a potus with less knowledge and understanding of the constitution? Or one with less regard for American citizens-especially those who did not vote for him?

  4. In America I can be what I want. Well I want to be reborn with millions of bucks just waiting for me. Then, and only then, can I make bad decisions and not have to worry about accepting responsibility. I get that alot from the guy in the White House.

  5. Blu from the peninsula | September 27, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Reply

    Dan there are many good veternary clinics around. You should check into the closest. Because you are one sick puppy

  6. If you make decisions based on what is true you will prosper.

    Is that why you’ve been repeatedly hauled into court by creditors whom you’ve stiffed ?

  7. I might have agreed with Fagan at one time, but then a black man was elected president and white republicans went completely nutso, some of them my own friends, relatives, and neighbors. I thought long and hard on this, because I didn’t want to believe it. But after years of mulling it over, the bizarre reaction of American conservatives to our thoughtful, intelligent, hardworking and highly successful president, can only be reasonably explained by one thing……they freaked out because of the color of his skin.

    Interesting how white male conservatives won’t tolerate black athletes performing such a simple and non-violent act of protest……could it be that they are trying to shut down the only group of blacks that have $, which means that they are the only blacks with power. Coincidence?

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