Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
Once again I have to take issue with Chuck Roots’ take in his article (“All about respect & why I’m turning out the NFL”) on Oct. 25. Like a lot of folks, (Pronounce that white), Roots doesn’t seem to have a clue as to why mostly non-white football players have chosen to take a knee or standing while locking arms in unity in protest during the playing of the National Anthem before the start of football games in the NFL. Roots believes they are protesting the flag or the military or the war of 1812. Yes, he brought that up.
What he didn’t bother to mention was how this protest, that started out with just a couple of players a year ago, to the majority of players today and which “great patriot” was the main catalyst in making it what it is today. Yes, I am talking about Donald Trump who is such a patriot, he took five deferments to get out of serving his country. You may have heard a true hero and patriot bring that up just the other day, Sen. John McCain. Whom, I might add, Trump called a non-hero because he was captured. Thousands of soldiers have been captured, apparently none of them can be called heroes. McCain brought up the deferments Trump took, which included bone-spurs in Trumps feet. Never mind that Trump went on to play sports in college. Apparently the sports he played didn’t include using his feet.
Trump brought all this on during a political rally with his base where he called any player protesting (There were just a couple at the time), SOBs and should be thrown out of the game never to return. This of course, was Trump once again throwing out red meat to his base who loves this kind of divisive rhetoric, something Trump is extremely good at, unlike lying, he is extremely bad at that although he lies at least five times a day.
Roots, cites the NFL operations manual where it states players “Should” stand, etc... during the National Anthem, “should” not “must” and at the NFL owners meeting where this was discussed in detail, owners agreed they would leave it up to the players. Including the owner of “Americas Team” the Dallas Cowboys. So much for that... Next Roots brings up the soldiers who died for our freedom to honor the flag. Wrong again, they died for our freedom to make that choice or peacefully protest where we want and how we want. It’s called the 1st amendment. Roots should read that one sometime while he is reading the 2nd amendment which he loves so much. Apparently Roots thinks that because he is a veteran, all veterans think like he does. Well, I too am a veteran and I beg to differ...He isn’t the only veteran who has seen soldiers die in battle and he won’t be the last. After my initial military hitch and having secured a TS clearance, I took a job with the Army, raised my clearance to TS Crypto where it was one of my jobs to be the first one notified of a Vietnam casualty in my region. I got lots of those. If Roots were not white, he would surely understand the real reason for the start of this protest last year. I don’t understand why he fails to understand this, there are many white folks who do understand with no problem. I would be willing to bet the majority are not Trump supporters.
Roots goes on to explain how it is the fans who subsidize the NFL, really Roots? We didn’t know that. I did some quick research on that claim and to my surprise, found that fans actually subsidize every major sport and every minor sport, including the high school football games that Roots now claims he will turn to. I assume we are supposed to believe Roots has always been a big NFL fan but now he has decided to turn to high school football exclusively. Yeah, right... Wonder why he didn’t even bother to mention his favorite NFL team. I did notice Roots didn’t mention Jesus in his article either like is his usual M.O., strange because everyone knows NFL players almost always point to the sky to acknowledge some apparently higher power up there after scoring a TD.
Roots may be happy watching high school ball but as for me, I’ll try to be at the Raiders game, or I will be in front of the TV every Sunday, Monday and Thursday or watching the NFL channel catching up on game highlights I might have missed. During the National Anthem, I will probably be getting a beer or some guacamole for my chips like just about every other NFL fan watching from home.