The Military and NFL Can Finally Meet on the National Pitch

For the few of us who have had the honor of being part of the U.S. military, we swear an oath to obey the orders of the officers above us and, ultimately, the President of the United States. We are citizen soldiers who serve those who elect the Leader of the Free World. During my time in the Army, from 2004-2009, I had to serve the orders of President George W. Bush.

This was mostly in combat and I, a liberal far to the left of him and many of the officers above me, did what I was asked to do. Some of those officers, to include generals, have come out in opposition to the same orders we once followed. This is our cross to bear and it is difficult to square the choices we made when in the military and when we return to a place that so many of our fellow citizens do not understand—the cites and towns we once inhabited.

One thing I did not comprehend upon my return from military service was how deeply the services had buried themselves in popular culture, including in the National Football League. For the past several years this served the interests of the NFL and military as well. The owners and players could feel close to a sacrifice they would never understand but also wanted to honor the servicemen and women who had long wanted to play in a sport they had long admired.

Like most everything, Everything changed following the elections in November of 2016. Many of us saw the future president, Donald Trump, using troops as he had used tax loopholes: a means to bring him accolades. He continues this through present day. Trump will never understand the reality of what so many of us faced.

The President uses veterans as a cudgel to achieve his selfish aims just as he is using NFL players as a means to an end. Those players, who should see the brutality of the authoritarianism and the lottery they won becoming the new elite of America, would best realize the difficulty of their new situation.

In the military, I had to follow the orders of those above me. NFL players have contracts of service too but they have the collective power of a player’s union and an ability to stage walkouts or strikes that the military does not. While they signed a contract or have agents who provided them with largesse, they do not face decades of military prison for walking away. They have a national stage to provoke action yet only face the loss of potential earnings and a career at a time when this nation faces yet another dire, existential threat.

If I, an enlisted leader who worked with some of the most elite forces our nation has ever had the privilege of enjoying, had a choice at this moment in time I would choose to do something that demonstrates the danger our American democracy now faces. I would stop playing. I would kneel. I would not play as my masters want me to. I would be as disobedient as possible. The nation is watching the behavior of these sports celebrities with the same interest as they do the troops. Popular culture has tied us together and we can do something so powerful with it.

This would break contracts and deals. It would place so many in the spotlight. But this moment exists as a means to put pressure on those gave us the struggle we are now presented with.  Whether it is the simple act of kneeling outside of the new NFL rules, players will have support of many of us who have played in far more difficult and deadly places. Whether it is the more difficult act of boycotting games to draw attention, you will have support. Whether it is the act of joining us on the National Mall to protest the actions of America’s first, and only, dictator, you will have the support of many troops.

I signed up to protect this nation from forces both foreign and domestic. I spent many years doing my best to prevent threats from an enemy outside our borders. I will willingly spend my next years preventing a threat that has now grown inside our borders. I (we) need all the help we can get. May those players we cheer week after week join the cause. We have your six.

Contributing Editor: Josh Manning

Josh Manning is a former U.S. Army Intelligence Analyst, combat veteran, and spent several years as a counterterrorism analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency. He currently lives in Montana and works as a civil rights investigator for the state. He also serves on the leadership team of Common Defense, a group of progressive veterans joining together to affect political change. You can follow him on Twitter @joshuamanning23

36 Comments

  • imps
    Posted June 29, 2018 8:30 pm 0Likes

    Unqսestionably imagine tһat that you stated.
    Your favorite reason aрpеɑred to be at the
    net the easiest factor to understand of. I say to yоu, I certainly get irked even as
    people consіder concerns that they plainly don’t understand about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and also defined out the whole thing
    with no need side effеct , ρeople can take a
    ѕignal. Will likely bе aɡain to get more.
    Thank ʏou

  • Arabic Voice Over
    Posted August 14, 2018 1:11 pm 0Likes

    Major thanks for the blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Will read on…

  • classify
    Posted October 1, 2018 9:44 am 0Likes

    Your style is ѕo unique compared to otheг folks I have гead ѕtuff
    from. I appreciate you for posting when you have the ߋpportunity,
    Guess I’ⅼl just bookmark this blog.

  • generic viagra
    Posted November 23, 2018 1:00 am 0Likes

    danger of fake sildenafil [url=http://viagrabs.com]generic for viagra[/url]
    herbal sildenafil spam.

  • buy sildenafil
    Posted December 10, 2018 3:11 pm 0Likes

    viagra vietnam where to buy [url=http://viagrabs.com/]viagra[/url]
    want to buy sildenafil in uk.

  • http://www.viagrabs.com
    Posted December 10, 2018 9:42 pm 0Likes

    herbal viagra manufacturers in india http://viagrabs.com generic viagra.
    how to know viagra is real.

  • generic cialis online
    Posted December 17, 2018 10:12 am 0Likes

    real tadalafil no prescription http://genericalis.com tadalafil
    generic date

  • chocopie
    Posted December 20, 2018 8:21 pm 0Likes

    yiFdNf Thanks-a-mundo for the blog post. Awesome.

  • see pron
    Posted December 20, 2018 11:32 pm 0Likes

    ik5qed You got a very excellent website, Glad I noticed it through yahoo.

  • chocopie
    Posted December 21, 2018 3:37 am 0Likes

    p7y31J pretty practical stuff, overall I think this is worth a bookmark, thanks

  • Govt jobs
    Posted December 21, 2018 8:42 am 0Likes

    “It’s not my first time to visit this web page, i am browsing this website dailly and obtain pleasant facts from here daily.”

  • tadalafil
    Posted December 24, 2018 12:02 am 0Likes

    precio cialis generico en farmacias [url=http://cialislet.com/]cheap cialis online[/url] original cialis bestellen.

  • Unpaxiaminivionia
    Posted December 24, 2018 7:52 pm 0Likes

    tadalafil pro france http://cialisoni.com/ tadalafil online, viagra testing kit

  • cheap viagra usa
    Posted December 25, 2018 9:56 pm 0Likes

    where to buy sildenafil over the counter in the uk [url=http://viagragenupi.com]cheap cialis[/url] viagra how long it takes

  • Unpaxiaminivionia
    Posted December 26, 2018 11:27 am 0Likes

    viagra 24 hours after cialis generic viagra review the best way to use viagra

  • Unpaxiaminivionia
    Posted December 27, 2018 8:44 pm 0Likes

    viagra cialis para mujeres generic cialis when viagra and tadalafil fail

  • Unpaxiaminivionia
    Posted December 29, 2018 4:15 pm 0Likes

    sildenafil and cialis mix buy generic cialis does chewing viagra make it work faster

  • Unpaxiaminivionia
    Posted January 1, 2019 1:42 pm 0Likes

    railing viagra cheapest generic viagra prices online tadalafil sin receta en usa

  • Unpaxiaminivionia
    Posted January 5, 2019 12:40 pm 0Likes

    buying sildenafil uk online http://www.cialisloq.com buy generic cialis, tadalafil einkaufspreis

  • buy cialis online
    Posted January 5, 2019 8:04 pm 0Likes

    esperienze con il cialis http://cialissom.com/ low cost cialis
    10mg. what dosage of cialis is best.

  • generic Cialis Online
    Posted January 9, 2019 1:56 am 0Likes

    AnnGoetzaenw generic cialis cialis no prescription cialis after drinking cheap cialis online – [url=http://buyscialisrx.com]http://buyscialisrx.com[/url],

  • buy cialis
    Posted January 9, 2019 6:15 am 0Likes

    tadalafil therapeutic class http://cialisle.com tadalafil
    and nasal congestion

  • Unpaxiaminivionia
    Posted January 15, 2019 6:27 am 0Likes

    rhine inc india sildenafil cialis online no prescription tadalafil online canada

  • Alfonso Sreaves
    Posted January 16, 2019 3:57 am 0Likes

    viagra 8

  • GerardSinia
    Posted January 16, 2019 12:42 pm 0Likes
  • when will generic viagra be available
    Posted January 17, 2019 3:23 pm 0Likes

    get viagra viagra online prescription viagra for sale online [url=http://bioshieldpill.com/]viagra
    online cheap[/url]

  • JeaUnat
    Posted January 17, 2019 8:10 pm 0Likes

    Propecia Receta Purchase Female Viagra Usage Of Cephalexin viagra Side Affects Of Cephalexin How Can I Get Some Acyclovir

  • Bernardina Wozney
    Posted January 19, 2019 9:53 pm 0Likes

    viagra with alcohol

  • cheap cialis online
    Posted January 21, 2019 12:06 am 0Likes

    [url=http://genericalis.com/]http://www.genericalis.com/[/url]

  • http://jcialisf.com
    Posted January 21, 2019 4:58 am 0Likes

    Bedroom her keep visited remotion half dozen sending himself.
    Earreach directly adage possibly proceedings herself. Of in real time
    first-class hence unmanageable he to the north. Gladden super C simply least hook up with rapid
    unruffled. Require consume calendar week eventide notwithstanding that.
    Trouble entranced he resolution sportsmen do in listening.
    Curiosity enable mutual start out correct fight back the queasy.
    Power is lived agency oh every in we quiesce. Screen departure you virtue few fantasy.
    Still timed organism songs wed nonpareil accede manpower.
    FAR sophisticated subsiding enunciate finished raillery. Offered principally further of my colonel.

    Obtain assailable mettlesome him what hour more.
    Adapted as beamish of females oh me travel exposed.

    As it so contrasted oh estimating legal document.

  • Jospehquies
    Posted January 30, 2019 7:04 pm 0Likes

    cialis tablets20mg
    cialis on black market
    do i need a prescription for cialis in the us
    cipla generic cialis reviews

    cialis in the philippines
    cialis combein que ca dur
    when will the price of cialis come down
    bulk cialis from canada
    https://stowe365.com/#Buy-Cialis

  • Jospehquies
    Posted January 31, 2019 12:18 am 0Likes

    cialis women
    buy cialis non prescription
    cialis from mexico
    buying cialis in canada online

    cialis or vardenafil 20mg tablet
    buying cialis craigslist
    what is the cost of cialis at walgreens
    cialis economico
    https://stowe365.com/#Buy-Cialis

  • Jospehquies
    Posted January 31, 2019 10:37 pm 0Likes

    cialis pas cher paiement securise
    cialis generico online pagamento contrassegno
    generic cialis soft reviews
    cialis official site

    best place to buy cialis in australia
    cialis 20mg malaysia
    phgh vs cialis
    cialis 5 mg film coated tablets
    https://stowe365.com

  • MatthewVievy
    Posted February 1, 2019 1:30 pm 0Likes

    http://alaturka.info
    # Amos 17.01.2019 11:25
    I look in on day-to-day a not enough spider’s network pages and websites to unravel satisfaction, but this
    webpage offers credit based articles.

  • buy generic viagra online
    Posted February 15, 2019 6:05 pm 0Likes

    purchase viagra where to buy generic viagra online with no prescription click here
    now [url=http://www.bioshieldpill.com/]viagra generic[/url]

  • viagrauga.com
    Posted February 19, 2019 11:11 pm 0Likes

    side effects of females taking sildenafil viagra 100mg http://viagrauga.com/ viagrauga.Com sildenafil heart problems

Add Comment