Commentary: The NFL and the White House are on the same wrong page

Commentary: The NFL and the White House are on the same wrong page
June 14
01:00 2018

By James B. Ewers Jr.

The truth can sometimes be blurred and hidden by a campaign of misinformation and lies. If you have a public relations organization that can spread innuendo and you are weak-minded, you will probably fall for it and be hoodwinked.

There are some tragic events that have occurred in our world that have been given different spins. For example, what were the true facts about the Princess Diana incident [that led to her death]? There have been countless articles about how she was killed. How about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy? Was Lee Harvey Oswald the lone conspirator or was he a part of a group? On April 4, 1968, civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed. Did James Earl Ray act alone?

Over time, books, documentaries and other forms of media have been produced about these events. However, in the end, it is up to us to decide upon the facts and the information. These tragedies will always be debated because of the many story lines that they have.

Another story that we will talk about for some time will be the flag controversy and the National Football League. During an exhibition football game on Aug. 14, 2016, San Francisco quarterback, Colin Kaepernick decided to sit during the playing of the national anthem. After Kaepernick sat, many other professional football players decided to sit, kneel or lock arms in solidarity and unity.

As we all know, players in the NFL were protesting how people of color were being treated by the police. We were being victimized and traumatized by the police. The victimization of minority groups in this country has been going on for so long that we really can’t point to when it started. It has just always been that way. It is my opinion that it is a sore that continues to fester with injustice and racism. This unequal system of justice has rendered many of us helpless and hapless.

The protests have continued and Kaepernick, the leader of this mighty movement, has been blackballed by the NFL. He simply cannot get a job playing quarterback for an NFL team. Quarterback positions are open, just not for him.

During these protests, the president of the United States has decided to weigh in with his version of the truth. He believes the players are unpatriotic and should be fired from their jobs. He has used varying degrees of profanity in describing those players who protest.

He has a public relations machine that is based in Washington, D.C. that has created multiple untruths and false narratives. There seems to be no end to the blatant lies that are coming out of that misguided enterprise. He has enough people believing him, which in and of itself says something about the current condition of America. It is my opinion that Mr. Trump, nor anyone else in his public relations firm, have ever been accosted by the police.

The NFL owners on May 23 passed a ruling that players on the field must stand for the national anthem. “Personnel who choose not to stand for the anthem may stay in the locker room until after the anthem has been performed,” says Commissioner Roger Goodell.

We live in a divided America led by a divisive leader. I still believe justice is right around the corner. We just can’t see it yet.

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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