Commentary: Don’t use the flag to cover up bad behavior

Commentary: Don’t use the flag to cover up bad behavior
October 26
06:00 2017

By James B. Ewers Jr.

There has been much talk and action about how we honor our America.
I respect our national anthem and our flag. America is a great country and we should honor it with great dignity and respect.

Last year, Colin Kaepernick started a controversy when he kneeled as the national anthem was being played. The former San Francisco 49’ers quarterback is at the forefront of a dilemma that is not going away any time soon.

Kaepernick took a knee because it was his way of protesting the injustices that African-American men receive and endure every day.

Being black and male in the United States of America brings on a set of challenges that no other race and gender experience.

When I arise in the morning, I put on the armor of prayer and ask God to get me through the day.

If not, I can easily become Alton Sterling and Michael Brown, dead because of unforeseen circumstances and because I am a black male.
Over time, the original purpose of why Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the anthem has been lost.

While all of the NFL teams have made and are making some kind of protest each week, many fans believe it is a protest against the flag and patriotism. Wrong!
Owners and players have locked arms while some individual players have kneeled. Whether locking arms or kneeling, the goal is the same. It is the systemic problem that America has and it is that it doesn’t treat all of its citizens with respect.

The 45th president demanded that players who kneeled be fired.

Mr. T is trying to convince Americans that the NFL players are disrespecting the flag and the country. Unfortunately, he has convinced too many Americans of his misplaced and wrong rationale. This president suffers from wasteful mouth speaking (WMS).

The 45th has in my opinion provided bigots and racists with a platform for inappropriate behavior and actions. He belongs someplace else. This America is too great for him.
Just a few days ago in New York, a collection of NFL owners, officials and players met to discuss the flag debate. The meeting was characterized by everyone as a productive meeting and they agreed to meet again. However nothing was specifically resolved regarding the flag.
Many players were disappointed that Colin Kaepernick was not invited. I believe he will be invited for the next meeting. By the way, Kaepernick recently filed a suit against the NFL saying that he has been denied employment by them.

These meetings in the future will tackle a wide array of racial disparities. Until we in America can tackle the issue of race, we will always be a touchdown away.
I have said and will continue to say that race is America’s Achilles Heel. Until we can acknowledge that race is the underlying problem to a lot of what troubles America, we will stay in this drunken stupor of social immorality.
Most of us, black and white want racial healing. We know and believe we are our brother’s and sister’s keeper. We believe that diversity is a good thing and that we should celebrate our differences.

Yet, there is a small, radical element that wants to divide us. Most have the complexion for the protection and believe their immunization from guilt is based upon their skin color.
Fortunately, the NFL players will not be silenced by this group of naysayers. The NFL and its leadership are being watched at every turn. I believe they will be wise and prudent in their thinking. They are not going to be fooled by empty threats and accusations. They know right from wrong.

Stay tuned. This is to be continued.

James B. Ewers  Jr. Ed.D. is a former tennis champion at Atkins High School in Winston-Salem and played college tennis at Johnson C. Smith University, where he was all-conference for four years. He is a retired college administrator.  He can be reached at

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