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I Still Cannot Figure Out What the Cleveland Browns Were Protesting?

Since rejoining the league in 1999, the Cleveland Browns have only made the playoffs in 2002, have went through 27 different starting quarterbacks since drafting Tim Couch with the number 1 overall pick in 1999, have only had two winning seasons and none since 2007, and are currently on their 9th head coach in Hue Jackson to start the new league year.

So rather than focus on their first winning season in over a decade and reversing the atrocities this franchise has plagued upon a city for years, they decided on Monday to protest their inequalities.

This team reminds me of a lazy welfare recipient, reliant on the government to cover their problems. The Browns continually remain the worst team in football yet the league gives them the highest draft picks and the most picks year after year.

Let us take a quick recap. It all started with Colin Kaepernick during the 2016 preseason when he decided to sit the National Anthem to raise awareness to the injustices done to the African American communities resembled by an American Flag that apparently symbolizes racism and selective freedoms.

Let’s point out some flaws with this argument. On average, African Americans live in poverty more than other races almost on par with Hispanics. Black Americans, who represent 13 percent of the American population, make up 32 percent of the welfare state and 23% are living below the poverty threshold.

Though no one would prefer to live a majority of their life on welfare, if they believe they are entitled to their benefits because the system is against them, then limit the size of government and find ways to create more jobs as this President has been doing.

Free college tuition at selective Universities is a perk of living below the poverty threshold. There can be an argument made that the social construct of race is real and the government grants entitlements to families of a certain socioeconomic background.

That sounds fair, but this is actually not the case. The government is more inclusive to individuals based on the color of their skin. America provides programs such as Affirmative Action, has passed numerous Executive Orders, and Civil Rights Acts.

Sure there is racism within people’s personal inclination across the country but is it the systems fault that African Americans live below the poverty threshold or is it opinion leaders from rappers and black culture that have embraced the lifestyle of guns, sex, crime and street life? Why is this culture glorified and is there a correlation between gun violence and street culture?

It is incontrovertibly true that the culture embraced in poverty stricken communities have forced police to do the dangerous task of patrolling these neighborhoods. And I understand there have been incidences where police officers, who some may be a racist, bigoted egg or have not received proper training (which is a problem in police forces), I ask does this make the institutions racist?

Is what Kaepernick implying that there is a culture of racism being promoted in our police department when he wears socks that depict officers as pigs.

If there is evidence in that regard, then I will stand alongside protesting this injustice, but it just doesn’t appear that way no matter if one individual police officer is completely out of line.

Japanese Americans were interned during World War II, a much more dangerous and hostile environment during the time. There was serious hatred towards the Japanese and yet they currently boast some of the strongest academia numbers and are less frequent to protest for their freedoms. Why?

People need to stop thinking of the United States as a White against Black paradagrim. The United States is much more multicultural than we assume and has spent the last 150 years implementing policies towards a racially inclusive and tolerant nation which especially aims to set an example for the rest of the world, particularly the Muslim world which Civil Rights activists in America do not have the knowledgeable capacity to grasp. Supposed champions of the Civil Rights movements such as Maxine Watters, Bernie Sanders, and Al Sharpton pander to these communities while leaving off to million dollar homes continually profiting off their sophist rhetoric.

Back to Cleveland 

On Monday, before their game against the New York Giants, a dozen Cleveland Browns players took a knee during the National Anthem while several players placed a hand on the shoulders of kneeling players in a show of support, ESPN reported.

Now the Cleveland Browns are taking a stand. But following the interviews from teammates concerning why the decision to protest I am still clueless as to what exactly it is they find flawed with this country. They state emotional remarks without any basis to reason or fact.

Here is the Tight End Seth Devalve’s statement, who I will say is white for the basis of this story, who protested with his black teammates.

“I myself will be raising children that don’t look like me, and I want to do my part as well to do everything I can to raise them in a better environment than we have right now,” DeValve told ESPN. “So I wanted to take the opportunity with my teammates during the anthem to pray for our country and also to draw attention to the fact that we have work to do.”

First of all your children will look like you no matter how or which way you put it. You are going to be their father. Do you understand? And they will be growing up in a privileged environment. If you can make that environment better for them, my ears are ready to listen.

Seth DeValve, whose wife is African American, became the first white NFL player to take a knee during the Anthem. He told ESPN that the events in Charlottesville convinced him to act on his decision.

“There’s a lot of racial and social injustices in the world that are going on right now,” Browns rookie safety Jabrill Peppers told ESPN. “We just decided to take a knee and pray for the people who have been affected and just pray for the world in general.”

Devalve and Peppers were joined by linebacker Christian Kirksey, who led the prayer, Duke Johnson Jr., Terrence Magee, Calvin Pryor, Jamar Taylor, Kenny Britt Ricardo Louis, Jamie Collins, Isaiah Crowell, Brandon Wilds. Five other Browns, including quarterback DeShone Kizer, Shon Coleman, Marcus Martin, Jason McCourty and a second white player, punter Britton Colquitt, placed their hands on the kneeling player’s shoulders.

We respect our players; we respect the flag,” Coach Jackson said Monday. “Those guys came to me and talked to me about it before they ever made a decision to do it.”

So Peppers may have an argument here, but is it the appropriate way of protesting inequality in the world by desecrating the American Flag?

Probably not.

And does Coach Jackson really mean what he says when his players respect the flag? If that is the case what are they protesting? Devalve and Peppers appear to have completely different motives.

Regardless, let’s hope this doesn’t sidetrack the Browns from winning a game this season. And I am from Cleveland. I was raised here. This one hurts.

Former NFL great Jim Brown had sobering remarks about Colin Kaepernick’s great intentions but his unintelligible way of protesting the flag.


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