An Open Letter to Professional Athletes

Dear NFL Players;

Maybe you missed the whole concept of living in the greatest country in the world. Where we all have the freedom to support or protest what we like or do not like.   All of those rights are guaranteed to all citizens and that is what freedom is all about.

What it is not about, is the disrespect you are showing by not honoring those who died to give us these rights. Yes that is correct, all of those men and women who gave their lives so that we could be free. Countless Americans have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be the land of the free and the home of the brave.   They believed in the institution of The United States, no matter who was in office or what party was in control of what.

So all of you that have taken a knee during the national anthem at a televised sports game show complete disrespect for everyone in our country, most especially those who served in our armed forces and are currently serving.   Being far away from their loved ones and putting themselves in harms way each and every day. Sorry but you should be ashamed of those actions. The national anthem is about our country, not the current President. Not race. Not any other topic, other than celebrating our country. Period. End of story.  The anthem transcends all other thoughts and protests.   It’s whole reason for being is to celebrate this great land of ours.   You do not want to celebrate that?

You want to protest this concept or that concept that is fine.   We live in a country where you do not get banished to the Gulag if you do not agree with the current political regime.   But showing disrespect to everyone is taking a protest just a tad too far.

There have always been people who do not agree with this policy or that one.   For you though, who are all on the world stage, the danger of misconception is real. You are all talented athletes and respected role models for our youth. Part of the responsibility of that position is to make sure you show the next generation that you can disagree with policies but you still have respect for those who gave you the right to protest in the first place. These are also the same people who gave you the right to be paid millions of dollars annually for your talent. Don’t you think that deserves a modicum of respect as well? There aren’t that many other countries in the world where you can make what you do for playing sports.

Keep in mind gentlemen that every eye is on you.   Are you really making a difference with your protest? Or are you making The United States more of a laughing stock of the world. Why any of you would disrespect our country boggles the mind.   Most especially since if we did not have these rights you may not be playing a professional sport on national television in the first place.

More importantly please do not let your protests become about race, religion or any other topics that they are not about. So much is being written about this that the meaning behind your protest is becoming skewed.   You do not like our current President? That is fine.   The same rights that allow us to vote for someone we like also allow us to vote out someone we do not like.   Nevertheless, right now that is our President.   A man who was elected by the very rules we live by.   Just because some do not like the outcome, shouldn’t change the fact that we are all Americans first before we are Republicans or Democrats.   Conservatives or liberals. You will have to live with President Trump even though you may not like it. Sorry but that is the way our system works. Plenty of people disliked the last president but there weren’t ridiculous protests that harm the country more than the target of the protest.

If we do not stick together as Americans and show we have respect for one another how can we expect other countries to have respect for us? By tarnishing the shining example of The United States we are asking for others to protest us and we are showing them our lack of unity.   This example also allows homegrown terrorism and other radicalized ideas occur that hurt innocent people.   We are sure that is not your intent by what you are doing but it can contribute to people looking for further expression of radical ideology. That is not acceptable, most especially from the gladiators of our time on the gridiron.

Protest all you want but please stand for the national anthem. Please do not disrespect our relatives who gave their lives for your freedom.  Remember, freedom isn’t free.


The Ribotsky Institute

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