22 September 2016

Leadership is Missing in America

The last time I wrote a controversial piece was the jury deliberations in The State of Florida vs. Zimmerman case. Pundits lost the message as they set out to start another narrative about gun ownership. The media loves to have two sides to any controversy. It creates drama and tension for their ratings, but it's still not a solution to a problem.

I think people speaking out about Kaepernick's right to protest isn't a solution either. All you manage to pull off is discover how many supporters each side has in their court. Kaepernick is an ignorant young man. He protested on the only stage he has and it just happens to be a large stage with a captive audience. It was a controversial thing to do and this fact is diluting his message. Those types of protests are ineffective. How does this help the communities that are deteriorating?

These communities are in need of strong leaders to serve as role models. Leaders don't burn down buildings, loot businesses, and disrespect the American flag.  Leaders evolve and rise to the top, but nobody is taking the lead inside these communities. Athletes with large stages protest but never step foot in the communities that are in trouble. And the leaders in the NFL community? From nowhere are they heard. Sad, isn't it? Let's put this in perspective here:

In 2012, the NFL fined the San Diego Chargers $20,000 because they failed to surrender towels on time when directed to do so by an NFL official.
 In 2014, the Cleveland Browns general manager used an electronic device many times. The NFL suspended him for the first four games of the 2015 season. The team incurred a $250,000 fine.

If these athletes are so passionate about making a difference, they should get involved. If black lives matter, go to the office of the Mayor and demand more. Go to the local leaders in the legislature and protest. Campaign to throw out ineffective leaders. The lazy way out is to sit out the national anthem while collecting millions from your fans and sponsors. This is why I'm boycotting the NFL. Maybe when the network ratings drop, the sponsors will wake up.

There is a bigger issue here than black lives or blue lives. It's about leadership and the lack of it in places where it's needed the most. When are the leaders going to step up and do something about it? There are generous black celebrities who use their wealth and power to help out black causes. Yet, the communities that need the most are those where it seems the only folks who visit are the cops.

These young athletes could use a reminder from Dr. King.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others.   
    --Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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