Christian players frustrated by criticism for anthem protest

In this Oct. 2, 2016, file photo, from left, San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Eli Harold, quarterback Colin Kaepernick and safety Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Eric Reid and other Christian players who support Colin Kaepernick’s social justice movement want believers on the opposite side of the controversial anthem protest to ask themselves a simple but powerful question: What would Jesus do?

Reid joined Kaepernick, his former San Francisco 49ers teammate, in kneeling for the “The Star-Spangled Banner” last year because he wants to be a “voice for the voiceless,” a lesson derived from a Bible verse found in Proverbs. The 25-year-old safety-turned-linebacker said he has discussed faith with Kaepernick, who remains unsigned.

“It’s the foundation of why we started doing this,” Reid told The Associated Press on Oct. 29. “We all have a love for people. The Bible tells us love your brother as yourself so that’s why we’re doing it.

“We have to speak up for those who can’t do it for themselves. My faith is ultimately what led me to start protesting and it’s what continues to drive me. Faith without works is dead. I feel like the past year before we started protesting, the Lord has prepped me for this moment.”

Reid made the decision to kneel after a meeting with Kaepernick and former Green Beret and Seahawks long snapper Nate Boyer. Kaepernick initially sat for the anthem before his conversation with Boyer. They chose to kneel because they felt it’s a “respectful gesture.”

But the movement has drawn heavy criticism as it continues to envelop the NFL. President Trump exacerbated the situation earlier this season when he suggested team owners should fire any players who knelt during the anthem.

Kaepernick, who led San Francisco to consecutive NFC championship games and one Super Bowl, filed a complaint that team owners colluded against him because of the protests, which are aimed at raising awareness for police brutality against African-Americans and other issues.

Reid said he’s “baffled” that some people misconstrue player demonstrations as being protests against the anthem itself, or the American flag, or the military or police.

He’s especially frustrated by Christians who lash out against the players.

“I do see some hypocrisy with the people that call themselves Christians,” Reid said. “If you know Jesus, he went into the house of God and turned over the tables and was angry and said they made the house of God into a marketplace so I would say this is something that He would do.”

But the issue has been so divisive that Christians can’t agree.

“This is not about black, white, brown, red or yellow; it’s about respect for the country and its flag, which symbolizes we are ‘one’ nation under God,” said Joseph Bruce Sofia, senior pastor at Gloucester County Community Church in Sewell, N.J. “The national anthem speaks of oneness and not division; it speaks of hope and unity, of poverty to wealth, from the ghetto to the presidency. The biblical principle of sowing and reaping is in effect here. Sow discord and we’ll reap discord. Oppression is a horrible thing, and needs to be taken on head-on, but take it to the town hall or courts or social media but, in my opinion, using the national anthem during a football game draws a line in the wrong sand.”

Carl Lentz, the lead pastor at New York City’s Hillsong Church, said many people, including Christians, are ignoring the real issues.

“What we see right now in culture is what’s easier? To make this about a flag, which it’s never been about, or to actually say, ‘Colin, what’s your beef? What’s your passion? What’s going on?'” Lentz said. “Our country has a sad history of missing the mark, missing the moment and deflecting issues. To judge this guy for putting his career on the line for something he’s passionate about, I do not understand. It’s sad.”

Baltimore Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson, a strong advocate for social reform, said he’s disappointed when Christians put “politics above the gospel, empathy and understanding.”

“We talk about what Jesus would do. Let’s think about that,” said Watson, who has been standing for the anthem. “How should I biblically look at this situation? Is my response as an American going against what my response should be as a Christian? If I’m a Christian, I want to delight in the things that (Christ) delights in and those things are blind. They’re not based on color, creed or culture or money.

“Being kind is not predicated on what you can do for me. Justice is not predicated on if I experienced injustice or not. We can advocate for people who have experiences that we don’t even have. True justice is blind and righteous. Christians should be about expanding and promoting the gospel. If you listen or think about the subject matter that players and people are concerned about, you could not as someone who reads scripture turn a blind eye to it.”

Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, one of the founders of the Players Coalition, said the Christian community could effectuate positive change if it wasn’t divided.

“As big as we are, as much influence as we have on policy and politics, if the church ever got behind really being for equality and really being for justice, it would show up, it would come,” said Jenkins, who has been raising a fist during the anthem. “But a lot of times we don’t show the empathy, we don’t take the time to listen and we’re just as segregated as the world is right now.”

Watson emphasized the importance of both sides listening to each other.

“These guys love America. We’re not traitors. We just want this country to be better on some things,” Watson said. “When we’re able to sit and communicate with one another, it allows us to understand. None of us are perfect.”

Reid was one of three players who took a knee Sunday (Nov. 12) on Veterans Day weekend.

“Our protest is against systemic oppression like we always say,” Reid said. “I didn’t feel the need to stand today. I have a military background in my family. I’ve spoken to family members who don’t feel disrespected.”

(AP Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow contributed.)

About the author

Rob Maaddi


Click here to post a comment

  • Just for balance, what if Kaepernick came to the field every game and took a knee to protest millions of people coming into this Country without signing the guest list on the way in, or the record numbers of blacks killing blacks in numbers of US Cities? And another player turns his back until we have affordable healthcare, and the next player covers his head to protest our military intervention into other Countries, the gun lobby, the oil lobby, and on and on? If you were running a team/a business, where would you, the owner of your business, draw the line at employees making political commentary and distraction at the work place every week????

    What would Jesus do? Jesus would taken all those millions of dollars in salary and feed the poor. The last time Jesus took a political stand in the temple at the wrong time and place, he got himself killed in the most gruesome way, while the Romans went on to conquer the known world for many centuries. Jesus would have done better if he just stuck to healing the sick, feeding the poor, turning water into wine, etc, etc. If Jesus could perform miracles, he should have just kept performing them.

  • I applaud these Christian players for speaking out. I would not have chosen Kaepernick’s strategy, but this is America where one putatively has freedom of speech, even if that speech has unforeseen consequences. I particularly admire Ben Watson, who frequently addresses important issues from a Christian perspective. Typically he comments when not engaged on the field of play, perhaps that is a mature pattern Colin might seek to emulate.

  • Ben Watson also said while not what he would not personally take a knee, he also applauded him for acting on his convictions and starting a conversation about what is not right in America. That was the reason for standing linked with other players while others knelt which followed a team meeting where the team discussed their reactions to Trump’s comments as to firing players and the need to respond in solidarity in some fashion.

    And unfortunately, I only found this (readily) because I had no idea who he was – don’t follow football at all (which says something about Kaepernick’s impact for the non-football followers) so I would have never read any interviews or Facebook conversation but I followed up to read more of what he has said and I see him as addressing issues from a black as well as Christian perspective that is from the heart who would like to see America heal. (To get further comments I had to google more specifically to get past all the links to his football career.)

  • Fair point about disrupting business. The owners could help alleviate the problem by getting rid of the anthem, which is itself a bit of gratuitous political theater.

  • If Reid didn’t want it to be about the flag, then he should have chosen a different vehicle for protesting than showing deliberate disrespect for the flag. The fact that a cause may be good does not automatically validate the means.

  • Unfortunately, the conversation that’s been started is about the importance of respecting the symbol of the nation as a unified whole, and how or whether disrespect for that symbol undermines that unity. Not exactly what the protesters had in mind, I think.

  • I have been an American all of my life, paid American taxes, and I am a decorated combat veteran, and I have to agree in the aspect that I just want to see a game, and I don’t care who sits, who stands, who takes a nap. It is two American teams playing against each other.

    To your other point, everyone in the world stands before their national anthem, because the flag represents them as a collective people, that does not mean you have to love your government. Because you love this Country, many times you end up hating the Government.

  • The flag represent us as a people, it does not mean that we support everything that goes on in this Country or the crooks in Washington, or the crooks on WallStreet, etc.

  • Then what would be the “vehicle” you recommend? Protest is all that’s left to those without a voice, power, or agency.
    You know the old story about the squeaky wheel, it applies here.

  • In reading the story, I don;t see him saying it’s not about the flag totally. I think to any rational observer, the kneelers are protesting certain policies by using a symbolic venue. Nothing against the flag per se. To me…this is much ado about nothing. If you want to choose that way to make a protest or statement…do so. Some will agree with you…some will oppose. If the goal is to promote discussion of these issues and the protest accomplishes that..then they are successful.

    I think we as Americans make too much fuss about these things.

  • I’m still not clear how kneeling is disrespecting the symbol given the symbol stands for free speech and such.

  • The disrespect is not in the posture you take; it’s in the posture you refuse to take. It’s not in kneeling (or sitting, or anything else) it’s in the refusal to stand.

  • One cannot disrespect the key symbols of our nation and the ideal for which they stand without disrespecting those who serve to uphold and work for those ideals. Kaepernick deliberately set out to demonstrate his disrespect for the nation as I recall from his earliest comments. I agree racism is a unjustifiable evil in our midst and I will continue to work to that day when skin color means nothing, but I will not disrespect the ideal of our nation nor the symbols that represent that ideal. I have buried too many fellow service members under that flag and presented too many flags to those who lost their lives serving this country to see any honor in taking a knee to protest. The only knee that should be taken is the one that is taken by the officer or NCO who keels to lay that flag in the lap of the loved one who mourns the one who has gone before us.

  • And again….I do not see it as respect because the flag symbolizes our freedom to address injustice with non-violent protest. If the flag could talk..I think it would say Amen.

    In any event…you have your opinion..I have mind…let them have theirs.

    My reaction seeing them is “Interesting..some Americans are protesting what the deem to be injustice in a non-violent way. I am glad I live in a place where such things are allowed. I wish them the best. I wish those with whom they disagree the best. Oh..what’s that? The Pledge is over? Cool…let’s watch a football game. “

  • True Christians would not twist this story into an issue of disrespect for the flag. They would empathize with a people that were kidnapped from their homes, transported to this country under inhumane conditions (many died on the way), were held in slavery (beaten, tortured, maimed, and murdered) for nearly 100 years. Once freed from slavery, these people were still held in virtual bondage and denied their rights for another 100 years. Today, they still suffer from the history of abuse and discrimination that left them less educated and poorer than their white counterparts.

    How many unarmed Caucasians are killed by police? How many Caucasians receive miniscule penalties for drug possession while their black counterparts serve decades in prison for the same offense.

    Wearing a flag lapel pin or complaining about others that peacefully protest rampant inequality is not patriotism. Real patriotism takes effort and sacrifice (e.g., serving in the military – I did, being a first responder, sacrificing wealth by teaching to help future generations, risking your career by protesting rampant inequality). It is time to stop pretending this is about “the flag” and take action to eliminate injustice and inequality.

  • The protocol is there in order to show respect to the flag and the nation it represents. To deliberately refuse to follow that protocol is to withhold that respect, and therefore to show disrespect. WHY the decision to show that disrespect is made is irrelevant to the question of WHETHER disrespect is shown.

    Consider this example: The protocol when the Queen of the UK enters a room is for everyone to rise. If someone decides to protest the treatment of immigrants in England by refusing to rise, is he disrespecting the Queen? And how do you think that disrespect would be received by the Queen’s subjects? We don’t have a living monarch to act as the symbol of the country as a whole — certainly our presidents don’t fulfill that role, they’re too much the politicians — so we have the flag instead. To attack the flag by deliberately violating protocol is to attack the unity of our country.

  • Just how much money are these players making? How much name recognition do these players have? Certainly a lot more than I am and have. And certainly enough that, working together, they can publicize their cause. But that would require them to get off their butts and ACT, beyond making a meaningless gesture while on the clock and offend their fans.

  • The flag code is broken in other ways. For example, the giant flag frequently brought out pre-game that covers almost the entire field..- ‘no flag should ever be carried flat or horizontal but aloft and free” There are clear restrictions on who can wear a flag patch and where a flag lapel pin is to be worn. All 30 MLB teams wore baseball caps with flag patches from September 10 to 11.Caps are annually sold as a fundraiser – a tradition post 9/11 and with good intentions but still a flag code violation.

  • It doesn’t sound like you know much about Jesus. He didn’t come to perform short term miracles but to die to save the entire world. He didn’t do anything at the wrong place or time, he did exactly what he set out to do.
    Kaep set out to be a voice and reach as many as possible. He has done that in a peaceful and respectful way. If anything his protests have brought to light just how much racism is within the NFL and that you can be affected by it no matter how rich you are

  • One of the reasons why many people throughout the world find the US to be less worthy of respect than most Americans imagine is the attitude which starts with “everyone in the world” and then pretends that the rest of the world is like America.

    It isn’t.

    If you have travelled you will know that different countries and regions have differing attitudes to many things. One of those is the expression of nationalistic fervour.

    Fifty-plus years ago when a pair of seats in the back row of the “pictures” was my idea of heaven on Saturday night all cinemas played our (The) National Anthem as soon as the credits were over. The rush to get clear of the cinema during the credits was almost unanimous – if only because there would always be a few who stood in the aisle whilst it played and they slowed down the rush for fish-and-chips.

    We still play the National Anthem and we still sometimes display the Union Jack but few (other than right-wing hoodlums spoiling for a fight) pay much attention.

    Does that mean we hate our country – no. Does it indicate a realistic attitude to symbols that have historically been used as part of the levers of power – I suspect the answer is yes.

    What you may see as a unifying practice can also be seen as an individuality suppressing imposition – a bit like the debate over school uniforms.

    Some people and some cultures see diversity as threatening and divisive – others see the same diversity as stimulating and opportunity-creating.

    Not everything that we do in Britain is as good as it could be – there are many things we can improve based on practice in both more and less mature societies. Does admitting that mean I am not proud of my country – hell no. I cannot imagine residing anywhere else – but I recognise that it ain’t perfect.

    But please don’t belittle “the rest of the world” by assuming it merely echoes the US – combined it’s a lot bigger, a lot richer and, if it wanted to be, a lot more powerful than the US.

    If we want respect we surely must first give respect.

    “Because you love this Country, many times you end up hating the Government.” – Yes – absolutely my view as well – and the love is constant even though the intensity of the hate varies dependant upon actions of the Government.

  • None of us know much about the the real Jesus because the Gospels were not written in Jesus time, nor in his town, nor in the semitic language he would have used to talk to “his people”. Jesus was just a blip on the screen as the Romans went on to conquer the known world for another 500 years, and the EASTERN (Byzantine, but they didn’t call themselves that) half of the Roman Empire lasted 946 additional years until the Islamic invasions. Today, the banner of islam flies over 99.9% of the Middle East land mass. Was all this history part of God’s divine plan???

    Kaep did nothing wrong, until after he made his point and the owners said enough is enough. The vast majority of the people he has reached are already believers, including that vast majority of police, that unnecessary police brutality is just plain wrong. The [minority] who think that Kaep is full of shiit still think he is full of shiit, so he did little to convert them. The police make tens of thousands of stops across the USA every day of the week without incident, and probably don’t like being painted with such a broad brush of “police brutality”, which is understandable. Millions of sports fans have severed in the US military and have emotional issues regarding the flag, feeling that the flag represents us, even if you hate or have a beef with the Government.

    To your last point– tribalism, nationalism, sectarianism, classism, nepotism, racism, sexism, etc, are all universal. But the NFL did not make a racist call. The NFL is the most successful sports franchise in history, it is a business first, and the owners always get to decide what is best for business and what has become too much of a distraction from the game. Advertisers also have a say. I would venture to say that most sport fans have a Christian background, and they have a say by not watching the games on the television or going to pay the big bucks at the stadiums until Kaep gets his job back. That is how you can tell how man Christians he has reached with his methods.

  • “The protocol is there in order to show respect to the flag and the nation it represents.”

    In your interpretation…right.

    The Queen has nothing to do with of the motives for US to revolt was just that kind of thing.

  • You haven’t named a vehicle. You have evaded my question completely.
    As a veteran, I do not agree that this gesture was meaningless. I sacrificed my body over two decades protecting his right to stand and make a statement. My 1st amendment rights were truncated while on active duty iaw the UCMJ and command policies. The NFL and owners had no ban on gestures beyond antics in the end zone. Now they’ve been pressured by the wave of fake patriotism of a blood thirsty populace. Fans with such fragile constitutions can spend their precious money on improving the lives of others within their own communities.
    Kaepernick’s non-violent gesture prevented no one, not even himself from performing his duties. He did nothing wrong accept address a VALID inequality not unlike Carlos and Smith in 1968. If you’re not aware of their gesture on the world stage then you are part of the problem Kaepernick is addressing.
    BTW, Kaepernick has been ACTING on this issue using his money and his name before taking a knee. A conversation with a Special Forces veteran resulted in a compromise with him making the humble gesture of taking a knee. He’s unemployed and still giving time and millions to this issue. He’s trying to lift up much maligned people in this ENTIRE country.
    He’s challenged ALL of the NFL to do the same yet their focus seems to be the profit margin.

  • Why should he stop protesting when nothing is changing? You don’t speak out against something and then say oh well, I did my part and now I’m done. You keep going until change happens. That change isn’t happening yet, that’s why more players are joining in.
    Also you seem more concerned about the feelings of police than the victims of police brutality. If they aren’t contributing to the racist system they shouldn’t be concerned.
    Lastly, I find it strange that people are so fragile they can’t handle what they perceive as disrespect but can watch such violence on the field with no problem.
    We are all free to protest and not watch or watch because we support the protests. The players are free to follow their conscience as well.

  • “Why should he stop protesting when nothing is changing?” –Kaep can make political commentary and protest all that he likes on his own time. It is up to the owners, in a employee/employer relationship, to decide what goes on at the workplace.

    To make another point— If you live in a community that is way above the national average in street crime and violence, and the good people of the community have to live behind barred windows and doors, and are afraid to walk to the store at night, and children have to avoid gangs on a daily basis, then where is their civil liberties unless there is a demand to send in more aggressive cops. Like I said before– The police make tens of thousands of stops across the USA every day of the week without incident. Don’t paint them with a broad brush.

  • I think if you are a black person that while you know most police are good guys, there is a caveat to that if you are back. And players know from experience that playing in the NFL does not make that experience any different. Ramon Foster in an interview after the shooting of Terence Crutcher. ‘ I’ve thought about this situation before. Here I am as, let’s be honest, a big black guy. I have a big black truck- you guys have seen it, it has tinted windows. And, I have a threatening dog. It’s just what they call a threatening dog, Zeus, a Rottweiler….

    I think after the season, when I’m driving through Ohio, or Kentucky, or wherever I’m going, Pennsylvania…. If I get pulled over by the wrong person, and I have to let down my windows, and you see a big, black Rottweiler in a truck with a big, black male in a big black truck, and I tell you I have weapons in my vehicle but I also have the right to carry- if it’s just not my day, that can be a bad day for me.

    It’s a harsh reality that I’ve thought about. … It just has to have more consequences to those types of situations. It’s unfair…. I have two kids and a wife. I have family and friends that I’m herefor also. It’s sad that I’ve had to run that scenario through my head. I’m talking about numerous times since all the stuff has been going on.’

  • Indeed, what would Jesus do?

    Would he wear a Fidel Castro t-shirt? Would he wear sock with cops as pigs? Would Jesus Christ give a black power salute, just like a white power salute, except…you know…black? Would he play in a league filled with men who beat women, men who take drugs of every description, men who spend the Sabbath beating on each other for millions of dollars?

    I find any of this hard to believe.

  • Your ‘voice for the voiceless’ does not have to come with disrespect for society. Bring up all your points by calling a news conference, by writing an article, by holding a rally, etc. Don’t do it by dis-respecting a large swath of folks you claim you want to have a dialog with. Folks are being critical of your METHODS, and they are willing to talk about your MESSAGE, when you bring it forward in a respectful manner.

    I don’t know what Jesus would have done, nor do you, but I choose to believe that he would have treated folks with respect when he wanted to hold a valid conversation with them on an issue.

  • Because society gets to decide these meanings. Even if you 100% believe you are not disrespecting and 100% are NOT disrespecting, YOU don’t get to make that call. It is not dissimilar to folks that wanted confederate statues to stay for 100% non-racist reasons: southern pride or historical significance or to honor the fallen dead. THEY did not get to make that call, society did.

    If you are a Christian and go to a Jewish household for dinner and they bow their heads an say a Jewish prayer before dinner do you leave? Berate them? No, you respectfully be quiet. Any disagreement you have with them can be discussed later in a venue where you are not disrespecting one another.

  • No, pretty much society’s interpretation. All societies have built in ‘rules of behavior’ that are acceptable. Just because you have the right to say most anything at any time, does not mean it is right to say most anything at any time. Proper time and place, it is how all civil societies are built.

  • But that is NOT the interpretation of a large portion of their fan base, of their employer that specifically honors military veterans and first responders routinely with the anthem, and such. HOW you bring about a message is often more important than the message itself. Anyone that tries to start a discussion by first disrespecting a large portion of the folks they want to have the discussion with is NOT going about it in the right way.

  • Or they could require their employees to stand or not be on the field. The business is run mostly for the customers, the fans, and the fans seem to 1) like the anthem, 2) like the way the NFL respects the military and first responders and 3) does NOT like players that kneel or sit for the anthem. Who is right? The customer is.

  • “He has done that in a peaceful and respectful way.”

    Peaceful yes, but respectful no, and that is the issue. Society by its customs, rules and traditions defines what is respectful and what is not. To the fans of the game, to that societal element, it is NOT respectful and that is the ENTIRE issue. And as for Kap, wearing the Pig Socks in reference to the police, again NOT respectful.

  • No, sorry, the protester picking the venue does not get to decide if he is being respectful or not. He may 100% believe he is. But society as a whole gets to decide. He/she becomes linked to that venue and method of protest.

    There are many different venues these millionaires have at their disposal, more than the average person. A press conference they call on their own time, high profile off field work, commercial time on TV they pay for, political rallies, peaceful permitted protests, etc.

  • Call a press conference, by commercial time, write articles and letters, join peaceful permitted protests, etc. These folks have way more venues available to them than the average person.

    In our society, the workplace is NOT an accepted venue for political comments or actions. Private employers do not put up with these antics. If you doubt me go to work tomorrow with a Nazi t-shirt on. A good chance you are fired.

    When the players enters that field, he is on the job, his employers are the NFL, the NFL answer to its customers, the paying fans and advertisers. There is no free speech at work, never has been, not protected by the 1st amendment at all.

  • See my post above (slavery, maim, murder, killing the unarmed, virtual bondage). Attempting to twist the meaning of the protest is a convenient approach to ignoring the glaring inequality and injustice our country permits. Kneeling (often done to honor God) shows respect for the flay while bringing attention to divert attention from injustice. Do you prefer adoration of the flag to a culture of justice?

  • “More agressive police”? Most policemen are professionals. They use force as a last resort. Yet, because of our history, black parents must give their sons special instructtions about dealing with the law (sherrifs included) because they know that the chance of having a son acosted or killed because he is black is vastly greater than if he were white. Attempting to twist the meaning of the protests is simply a means of diverting attention from the real problem. Do you believe that having a son killed by a rogue policeman is less important that the possiblity that some fans want to change the narritive to respect for the flag?

  • Well, even as Christians, we can disagree as to appropriate methodologies. Ben Watson finding merit in Kaepernick’s approach is not a problem for me, I simply feel a different approach may have been more effective without contributing to the present spirit of divisiveness which plagues the nation. As to the NFL, among the players and the public, there have been moves and counter moves, as is to be expected. The Republic will survive. And you are correct, Ben (and other black Christians) will sometimes frame issues from their experiences which are linked directly to their outward human appearance, but I think and hope that is usually secondary to their identification as Christians, which principle should apply to us all whatever comes to us via the conduit of perceived otherness.

  • Two major differences between your examples and the players’ own disrespect. First, they are most likely out of ignorance — anyone that has grown up in the US knows what they’re supposed to do during the anthem, and immigrants pick it up quickly enough; beyond that, the flag code isn’t so well known. The players’ action are definitely not a matter of ignorance. Second, those other violations are intended to HONOR the flag and the nation it represents, even if not done so properly. Again, the players’ actions are definitely not intended to honor the flag and its country.

  • No, it wasn’t. Once we became our own country, one of the questions we had to work out was what our own protocol should be — but no one that I know of argued there should be no protocol at all.

  • Kaepernick and those that have chosen to follow his example have gone out on the field and deliberately disrespected the flag and the nation it represents in front of millions of fans (when you include TV audiences) that love both. Thus demonstrating their contempt for flag, country, and fans. They wanted to draw attention to themselves, and they’ve certainly done that.

    As for “naming a vehicle,” just what do you think the Civil Rights, Women’s Rights, and [Fill in the Blank] Rights organizations have been doing for generations? With a great deal of success, by the way.

  • I don’t know what Jesus would have done??? Yes you do, unless you’re a Luke Warm believer and,your faith is weak in GOD…..Jesus wouldn’t pledge allegiance to anything or one but God not only that the Bible commands us Christians not to pledge allegiance any country, our allegiance is to GOD only. That is what GOD expects and that is what he demands ~ Exodus 20:4, 5 and ~ Luke 4:5-8 James the Apostle and brother of our Lord reiterates this Christian instruction:
    This WORLD/ AMERICA is not Our Home, Satan is the Ruler of this World and all countries are under the Control of the Evil One 1 John 5:19.. The Bible says Anti-Christ is going to control all countries that means even America the only exception is ISRAEL… He will lead look countries,in,this world to destroy God’s children and wipe them off the map… JESUS, RETURNS,to save ISRAEL from being Wipe-off the map…

    James 5.12
    But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.

    Jesus is a man of action,would be concerned about racial or other injustice. He certainly experienced the brutality of the Cross, he would tell Kaepernick his protest is in the right place but misguided, siding with Castro, a violent persecutor of Christians, etc was not the way he would tell him to love others and use his to work to bring reconciliation. It would be a message of peace, not divisiveness, and He would have the same message for all of us. seek the kingdom of God. Jesus would also tell him to repent and believe the gospel in light of the coming wrath of God.

  • I don’t know what Jesus would have done? Well, Atlantic you should have kept those comments,to,yourself and instead of posting on the internet READ YOUR BIBLE!!! Jesus stood against SOCIAL justice in his day, he says I DO NOT CHANGE Malachi 3:6.

    Can you PLEASE do me a favor? REPENT seeks GOD’s forgiveness and read your BIBLE EVERY DAY, AND PRAY EVERY DAY, GOD HATES Luke Warm believers Revelation 3:16, JESUS spoke strongly against Luke Warm faith

  • You obviously have no knowledge of the history behind the Civil Rights and ERA efforts. It took repeated disruptive behavior to bring attention to their treatment at the hands of an unjust system.
    As far as disrespecting the flag, when was the last time you stripped naked fools who wear it as a pair of pants, boxers, bikini, etc. Read the flag code, it was required reading for me in the Navy.

  • I find any of this hard to believe. Well, you don’t READ YOUR BIBLE that’s why, Jesus stood against injustice in his day and promises he does not change Malachi 3:6… Jesus was not a bystander, cheerleader, or passive observer–He devoted his entire life towards actively seeking positive change. He NOT ONLY threw himself into the conflict, but he was often the one creating,the conflicts by social norms, angering leaders, condemning officials, and criticizing governments. JESUS spoke rout against the Pharisees and Sadducees and they hated him,for,it…

    Would Jesus play in this league NO! But Jesus was a man of action,would be concerned about racial or other injustice experienced the brutality of the Cross. if anybody understands Social injustice it would be HIM, as he inexperienced it himself…He would tell l Kaepernick his protest is in the right place but misguided, siding with Castro,, a violent persecutor of Christians, etc was not the way he would tell him to love others and use his to work to bring reconciliation. It would be a message of peace, not divisiveness, and He would have the same message for all of us. seek the kingdom of God. Jesus would also tell him to repent and believe the gospel in light of the coming wrath of God.

  • DO NOT THINK, Jesus is some bystander, or passive observer he was an activist. He railed against social injustice,for how the Pharisees treated the POOR, HUNGRY, and Widows

  • You assume these haven’t been done in the past and that they are not doing it now.
    Can’t buy commercial time or print when your money is refused because your message is rejected, like fragile fans are rejecting it now. Do you even know what Kaepenick’s message is? Do you accept it as fact if you do? As far as accepted behavior at on the job, depends on the employer each and every time. Were you aware of one of the Abdullah brothers being penalized for bowing on his knees after a touch down yet the Tebow kneel was praised by bible worshipers? This is the kind of mistreatment that must be objected to in the most provocative yet nonviolent method.
    How about you and your fellow protest specialists publish a book for all of the obviously disenfranchised citizens to use when they need to call attention to system failures. Up to the challenge. I think not.

    BTW, the much worshiped Keystone pipeline just leaked 200,000 of toxic tar sand oil in the ground along side the Lake Traverse Reservation. No idea if the water table has been affected. The Lakota people are now saying, “WE FUCKING TOLD YOU SO!”
    Bottom line, protest is the voice of the voiceless. That’s history, especially in the US. You don’t get to pick and choose how and when a message is delivered. Even billboards make the fragile quake as if struck by a water cannon.

  • Jesus supported brutal communist dictators like Fidel Castro? Please explain.

    Jesus dehumanized police officer and actively supported cop killers? Please explain.

    The liberal Jesus doesn’t sound like the Jesus from the Bible.

  • Most policemen are professionals. Yeah, I’d say no.. not in the major big town cities,the Police Departments in NYC are very corrupt, same for Chicago, and Miami, and other big towns. only the small town police are professionals…

  • I agreed, Please remember, Jesus was a man of action, Jesus was an Activist..Don’t make him out to be some ”innocent bystander” passive observer–He devoted his entire life towards actively seeking positive change. He NOT ONLY threw himself into the conflict, but he was often the one creating,the conflicts by social norms, angering leaders, condemning officials, and criticizing governments.He denounced those in control with no reservations.. Jesus spoke out against the Pharisees and Sadducees for the way they treated the POOR, Hungry, Widows,

    So if anybody understands Social injustice it would be JESUS , as he inexperienced it himself… As, he experienced the brutality of the Cross.. it’s one of the REASONS the Pharisees, the leaders of the law wanted HIM DEAD! Jesus challenged the social norms ETC, ETC, .

    Read, Luke 4:16-31 Jesus made lots of peoples furious he was a Maverick. He was an activist, against the corruption of that time, he had a BIG PROBLEM with the social norms…

  • The Protested are peaceful, they are not disrespecting the flag, true Christians would not worship the flag that is Idolatry.. Which you American citizens are doing when you put a national anthem and flag as your god you are committing blasphemy! to our Heavenly Father…Our allegiance is to GOD only, it’s what he wants, it’s what he expects from his children and followers Exodus 20:4, 5 and ~ Luke 4:5-8,

    James the Apostle and brother of our Lord reiterates this Christian instruction: Christians,that pledge allegiance TO ”THE FLAG” of any country, are going against God’s commends this world is not our Home” I JOHN 1: 5:19, SATAN is the Ruler of this World, every country is UNDER his control…

    SATAN wants you to pledge allegiance to your country all countries are part of NWO, America is the LEADER of NWO… The TIME will come when Satan demands you pledge allegiance TO HIM! And to the MAN OF SIN ( The Anti-Christ)

  • We’re just rehashing the same points….I respect your opinion but I disagree.

    I’ve always thought the pledge and all the hoo ha about the flag was silly. Maybe because my dad always found it silly and he was a WW2 vet..he’d say – “I didn’t fight for some goddamn piece of fabric. I fought for freedom and my people.”

  • WHo says the protestor does not get to pick the venue,..apparently…they do.

    They chose what the chose. Their employer responsed….not my business.

  • Apparently most Americans favor the kneelers

    “In this most recent poll, 52 percent thought athletes did the right thing by carrying out this protest while just 41 percent say it was the wrong course of action.”

  • I did not make Jesus out to be anything because we know very little about Jesus. As for being a social activist, during the age of warriors, you had better not say shiiit to the authorities, unless you had an army to back you up. The best you could do was to take a hike to another kingdom, because the concept of God is not going to protect you.

    Jesus cleansed the temple of the money-changers and sellers of merchandise because of his disgust at what they had made of God’s house of prayer, and just after Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem [the last week of his life]. So even according to the Gospels, it was not such a good idea. It was a suicide mission.

  • And if, when you were in the Navy, you decided to kneel instead of salute during the anthem, what would have happened to you — even if you claimed you had no intention of disrespecting the flag, the nation it represents, or those that have fought and died in its defense; but instead were protesting racial disparities in our Justice system?

  • Looks like we have to change your passport. -Sarcasm intended

    I get your emotional point, but you have chosen a concept for a flag, and not a geographical location. An islamist cannot take an honest Oath of Allegiance either. Jehovah’s Witnesses have been taught not to take an oath of allegiance to a country.

    Who do you pay your US taxes to for schools, roads, transportation, police, firemen, emergency services, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guards, Border Patrol, waste management, water services, Court system, etc, etc?????

    Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, etc, have all come to the US and taken the Oath of Allegiance to become citizens for a reason. They come for the “opportunity” to make a better life than where they come from. Ask any American what is wrong with America and you will get an ear full of what is wrong, but they are not moving anytime soon, and neither are you, because we can speak up and fight for necessary changes.

  • Not that hard to explain my friend, Jesus would tell Colin his heart is in the right place when it comes to social injustice but his actors were misguided… He wouldn’t encourage him to support cop killers that’s the wrong way.

    But I do believe Jesus himself was a activist/protester, for one the Gospel is meant to offend,evil and the wicked and those living in Sin, long as it draws them to Christ because of His love for us… 2.Jesus asked people to follow him and join his cause about the Kingdom of God that would make him a protester,remember that he was the ENEMY of the Authority…

    He espoused views unpopular views with the Establishment, began a movement, was put to death by the government. Why?? because he was bold and told the leaders about their wrong practices, evil thoughts, and destructive deeds, (Mark 2:1-12; Luke 11, He questioned authorities, laws, and traditions As with his call to repentance is far more emphasized in Luke’s writing in comparison to the other gospels.His desire was for change, and for the people to become agents of change  Socially  hence he cried over Jerusalem in disappointment before entering the city (Luke 19:41).

    Jesus also upended the social order by honoring the poor with equal respect, honoring lepers, honoring women, marriage, and so on. Jesus did not have just a religious effect, but also a social and political effect. He made a impact on his followers socially

  • Well lets look at the term liberal, would Jesus be a liberal??? Not really, but the Pharisees, the religious class of his day would see him as LIBERAL.. For one, he berated them for hypocrisy and corruption. In turn,they ACCUSED him of hanging out with the WRONG kind of peoples, what self-respecting leader would go to parties with prostitutes and swindlers? They saw Jesus as a ”FRIEND of Sinners! and the crazy part is – he didn’t seem to mind.

    When Jesus stormed into the temple courts, interrupted the proceeding by overturning tables, yelling, and driving both people and animals out of the room using a whip, he was condemning the greed and corruption of religious hypocrites — because Jesus was a protester (John 2:13-25).

    Jesus would only be Himself, but the corrupted religious leaders today like Franklin Graham would see Him (JESUS) As a liberal… Also outside of Jesus, Paul will probably go down as the greatest activist/protester in human History. He often march into a city and a place that was hostile to the gospel.

    Jesus’ entire life and ministry are about protecting the vulnerable, fighting social injustice,bringing peoples to repentance for the Kingdom of God, along with condemning religious hypocrisy.. They saw him as dangerous and the things he said outraged a lot of peoples that wanted to see him dead…

  • As I said…he did not see it as that important…he was more interested in the concepts and actions…not a piece of fabric. The danger is that people begin to idolize the symbol and begin to devalue the actual concepts behind it.

    I think we have about exhausted our debate points. agreed? This has been a very beneficial discussion. Have a great -T-Giving.

  • I’d say that the players aren’t disrespecting the piece of fabric, but the concept behind it. But yeah, I’d say we’re pretty much going in circles at this point. Have yourself a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

  • Re: “Just for balance, what if Kaepernick came to the field every game and took a knee to protest millions of people coming into this Country without signing the guest list on the way in, or the record numbers of blacks killing blacks in numbers of US Cities?” 

    Why should he have to do that? If he did, all he’d be doing is kowtowing to your own subjective demands of what he ought to protest, for you, and on your behalf. But … you see … that’s not how protests work! People are allowed to protest particular things, if they want to. Yeah, really! No one is “required” to protest every single bad thing that ever happened or ever might happen, merely because s/he wishes to protest a single issue. 

    If your philosophy were to be followed to the letter — and by everyone who ever protests anything, anywhere, then all the alt-righters who protested the city of Charlottesville taking down its own Confederate statues, would also have to protest the killings of doctors and attacks on Muslims (and people who’re assumed to be Muslim). 

    But … I don’t expect them to protest any of that. There’s no reason I should! Likewise, Kaepernick is not required to “protest” whatever has your own knickers in knots. The great thing about the freedom of expression we have in the US, is that it’s … see if you can follow me on this! … free! It’s voluntary. So long as they’re not hurting anyone or damaging property, Americans are “free” to protest whatever they want … and only what they want. Forcing others to protest things they have no wish to protest, is called “fascism,” and it’s wrong. 

  • I wonder just how many people have actually researched how these player protests are actually linked to Lewis Farrakhan’s and his black supremacist group hiding behind religion, the Nation of Islam?