I’m just gonna keep this short and sweet. I took screenshots of things I agreed and disagreed with over the weekend, and now I realize it doesn’t matter. Some people will always view the recent actions of NFL players as being disrespectful while I jokingly retorted to my husband, “Maybe this will be the year I finally get into football”.

As a Mental Health Counselor, Behaviorist and Social Worker, I support the Take a Knee movement. I would rather players protest peacefully versus what we’re seeing in St. Louis following the acquittal of Jason Stockley.

I find it ironic how so many of my high school peers back home promote freedom of speech (which I support) but freak out when someone kneels during the national anthem. I guess we all have our priorities. People are offended by different things, but I could truly care less how NFL players protest, as long as it isn’t violent. I just hope everyone complaining stands for the anthem at home when they’re watching football games.

Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The 4 Agreements, discussed the importance of not taking things personally and not making assumptions. I strive to live this way but struggle at times, I’ll admit. I deleted three “Social Workers” on my friends list yesterday that were very vocal in their opposition of these peaceful protests. I’d like to believe I’m pretty open-minded, but a conservative Social Worker is an oxymoron, and that’s putting it politely.

Do they have a right to their opinion? Absolutely. But do I need to associate with these women? No. Our values aren’t aligned whatsoever. I’ve tried engaging people I disagree with in political conversations to maintain an “open dialect”, but all I do is spin my wheels, and they probably feel the same. So here I am, bitching on my blog, solving nothing with my apathy and cynicism.

The one meme I’ve noticed that I liked the most read, “Thinking NFL players are ‘protesting the flag’ is like thinking Rosa Parks was protesting public transportation”. That pretty much sums it up for me. This ain’t about the flag; it’s bigger than that. It’s about police brutality and advocating for marginalized populations.

To the friends I have that keep insisting it’s disrespectful to take a knee…open your eyes, close your mouth and listen to what people of color are trying to tell you. Put your ego aside, and develop some empathy. Y’all don’t get to act like you “fought for everyone’s right to protest” and cherry pick the right and wrong ways to go about it. There will never be a way to protest that’s not offensive to someone; that’s what protesting is all about. It was never about sparing feelings. As long as it’s not violent, I could care less what you do.

I hope to become more involved in this movement not only for people of color but to somehow advocate for people in poverty, as well. This growing gap between the rich and the poor alarms me, and simmering in apathy isn’t the answer. In the meantime, I hope we can all work together towards viable, peaceful solutions.

On a lighter note, here’s a clip from the Daily Show.