Though I don’t claim to be someone that watches a ton of football, the events of the past few weekends have caught my eye; here’s my take:
We all have opinions and a myriad of places to express those opinions. The safety we feel as American people to freely express those opinions is, unarguably, one of the things that make our country great. When our opinions are expressed, at best they can lead to conversations and learning; at worst they lead to division and rifts between us. It might sound idealistic, but I think we are capable of the best case scenario. I think we can learn from each other and let our differing opinions start a conversation.
When Colin Kaepernick first took a knee last year, President Obama stated, “I want (the protesters) to listen to the pain that that may cause somebody who, for example, had a spouse or a child who was killed in combat and why it hurts them to see somebody not standing. But I also want people to think about the pain he (Kaepernick) may be expressing about somebody who’s lost a loved one that they think was unfairly shot.” I think this gets at the heart of the issue. We have to take a step back from our own biases and narratives we live in and be willing to see the issue from another person’s side. This openness challenges us, grows us, and makes us better.
When I think of this debate and the narrative from both sides, I just want to have a conversation. I want to sit down and talk to my friends who see things differently than me, to hear how this situation touches their mind and heart. I think we can all take a step and listen to each other and have honest conversations. I don’t think this kind of situation gets solved from a Facebook rant, I think it starts with a cup of coffee, a trusted colleague, and an open mind.