Veteran to NFL Players: Get Off Your Knees Already
Controversial national anthem protests continued in the NFL over the weekend, with nearly two dozen players refusing to stand for the pregame rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Kathy Barnette, an Army veteran, has a message for NFL players: "Get off your knees already."
Barnette said the players' protests, which were originally intended to highlight police brutality and social injustice, are not an effective way of getting their message across.
"There are some real issues in the black community, some very real, systemic, devastating issues," Barnette said. "But the one that we are seeing almost every day, about police brutality, that probably isn't even in the top five."
She said more pressing issues include family instability, lack of education, high unemployment rate and low home ownership.
"For these particular NFL players, they have a significant platform. They can go into any community and immediately shine a spotlight on what the real issues are," she said.
Barnette said the protests instead perpetuate the narrative that around every street corner there’s a white police officer waiting to shoot a black man.
She pointed out that FBI data reveals that out of approximately 7,800 African American homicides in 2016, only 233 were killed by police.
Of those 233, only 16 were unarmed, she added.
"One black person, white person, Asian person, any person shot by police unarmed for no reason is one too many. But it most definitely is not the big 'boogey bear' that they're pushing it to be."
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