The NFL protests have unsurprisingly brought out the dullest of objections to them. Perhaps the one that exhibits the most thickness posits that people who have or make a lot of money have no reason to complain about the ills of this country and don’t know what sacrifice is. This is indeed curious because the vast majority of people who make this argument voted for a billionaire who did nothing but complain about our nation while sacrificing nothing virtually his entire life. The argument is also irrelevant because income or net worth is not a requirement to note injustice. If it was, we would listen to poor people a lot more than we do now (which is not at all).
Another argument against the protests that is undeveloped is the fact that those participating in the protests should give to charity and/or do more in their own communities. This shows a lack of awareness of how most athletes complete community service and engage in charity at a far higher rate than the people who are saying they shouldn’t protest because they don’t.
What Is The Meaning of Sacrifice?
What is the litmus for how players express and sacrifice for their beliefs? What is the test for it? Is the only way to pass to be poor? Does this extend elsewhere? Can you only be poor to strike? Can you only be poor to protest social injustice? Poor people are often too busy trying to eat and survive rather than protest, so does that mean everyone else has to shut up?
MLK and his siblings were born into a financially secure middle-class family, and received better educations than the average black children at the time. Does this mean that MLK Jr. did not sacrifice because he had a secure middle class upbringing?
Mentioning the finances of these players can be translated to you are rich so you should just shut up and get to work for sacrifice happens in real time. A sacrifice is Colin Kaepernick not playing the game he spent his life preparing for. It’s Tommie Smith and John Carlos losing any chance to compete again. It’s Curt Flood never being signed to an MLB team once he began to talk about the playing conditions for black baseball players after segregation “ended”.
Kneeling is just as powerful as remaining silent or standing still and raising a fist. It’s a significant sacrifice and should be recognized as such.