Yes, I am a Muslim woman, and I love football

Me too.

I feel a great sense of pride when my Giants players use their platform

They don’t have a platform. They’re hijacking the platform which is owned by independent businesspeople (the owners) and supported by individuals (the fans) who clearly do not approve of their platform being hijacked.

To be clear, NFL players aren’t protesting the flag, the anthem, or the military.

Anyone who protests controls only their actions; they don’t control the interpretation of their actions.

This was actually explained to Colin Kapernick by a member of the US military, who told him that as long as he was sitting during the anthem, his actions would be interpreted as disrespect to the flag, country, and anthem, and he would get no respect from the majority of NFL fans.

Colin K then changed his action from sitting to kneeling, which is indeed a universal sign of respect, but still different from his standing teammates; but the damage was already done. “The horse had already left the barn”, as we would say in Texas.

So, they can say they’re protesting whatever they like; and the fans will interpret their protest however THEY like. That’s kind of how society works, after all.

The NFL insists “football is family,” but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell still refuses to defend NFL players.

Hm? Says who? Goodell HAS defended them, in a de facto fashion, by refusing to enforce existing NFL rules regarding behavior during the flag ceremony, which the protesting players are in violation of.

Does the NFL value leadership by players?

Wrong question. The NFL is about making money, because if you have more money, you can get better players under contract, and you win more, which makes you more money.

Anything that is a means to that end is goodness, if you’re an NFL owner; anything that disrupts that process is badness. So, you can pretty much predict how an owner is going to react to…. anything…. based on those guidelines.

White supremacists have worked diligently to ensure underprivileged individuals remain marginalized.

That was indeed true, back in the 50’s and 60’s, when there really was overt racism in this country. According to polling like the General Social Survey, there are very, VERY few overt racists left in this country. I’ve lived through this change, and there is probably no greater social success in this nation today than the radical decrease in racism in this country over the last sixty years, both legally and attitudinally.

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As one can see, the % of people who wouldn’t vote for a black president (which I believe is a pretty good barometer by which you could accuse a person of being racist) has dropped from 28-ish% back in 1972 to around 5% in 2008; and one can imagine the age group of those remaining holdouts.

So, racism, thankfully, is dying off. Not that it won’t rear it’s ugly head from time to time (these Confederate statues come to mind) but, it’s certainly no longer the driving force in society and the economy that it once was.

protest and patriotism are reserved for those who are privileged and white.

Hm. In order to say that, you must have an example of a white player who protesting something and didn’t take flak for it. Do you? Or are you just blowing smoke?

This was reflected in the NFL when Houston Texans’ owner Bob McNair felt comfortable in referring to player protest as “inmates running the prison” at a time when white supremacists are empowered.

Everyone outside of an insane asylum knows that McNair was simply using a relatively common spin on a relatively common figure of speech. To infer racial animus where none was intended detracts from your honesty.

Or, when Colin Kaepernick and dozens of NFL players are continuously attacked by President Trump and called unAmerican for practicing their First Amendment rights that protests racist institutions in America. Is protest that demands a more fair and equitable America not patriotic?

I’ve heard this argument many times in my life, often from people that burn flags as a form of protest. The format is logically fallacious, because it insists that you ignore extenuating circumstances which are germane to the issue.

The answer is that taken in isolation, of course protest that demands fairness is patriotic. However, it is possible to do so in a venue which detracts from the message rather than enhances it, OR to choose an action which detracts from the message, rather than enhances it.

The problem with the NFL players actions are those. What they are doing is not wrong, as long as their employers permit it; however, it is the wrong action in the wrong venue, and thus detracts from the message.

Point to be made, here: The anthem prior to a sporting event is the closest thing to a national religious ceremony the Americans have. Having a protest during it is a bit like running a protest inside a Catholic church during a Mass, or running a protest in a masjid during Jumu’ah. It’s bad timing and the wrong venue, to say the least.

The Muslim Community is too familiar with restricted freedom of expression. It is often the case that some (whites) feel uncomfortable when a Muslim wears the hijab

You’re white too, habibi. Just thought I’d mention that. :-)

And its not unusual for people to be uncomfortable when confronted with something they are unfamiliar with. The Americans are ok with men wearing Jewish yarmulkes, because they’ve been around for a very long time. My hijab….not so much, and I still get looks from time to time, in particular when I’ve just thrown on an abaya instead of wearing western clothes.

But I live in Houston, which is the most diverse city in the country and has had sixty years to get used to us, since the first time Saudi Aramco set up shop here. Its not so bad here.

At a time of record highs in anti-Muslim violence and multiple attempts at a Muslim Ban, American Muslims constantly find ourselves answering for our faith and having to “prove” our loyalty to our country.

Well, there are people out there that claim to share our religion doing some very bad and very dangerous things. To assume that we shouldn’t suffer from guilt by association, to some degree, is a bit naive. This will work out over time, but certainly not overnight.

The fact is that both Muslims and Blacks are often excluded from patriotism and the freedom to protest injustice.

Whenever somebody starts a sentence with “the fact is”, you can bet that somebody is going to give you an opinion for which they have no facts to support.

What is more factually supported is that whenever a protest goes against community standards, the community starts out by reviling the protest and the protesters. Those weren’t minority activists that were shot to death at Kent State in 1970, after all; those were white, upper middle class students protesting conscription into an unjust war.

Now, if the target of the protest is factual and can be addressed through policy prescriptions, then it can lead to legal or social change; it certainly did in the case of the Vietnam war. But if the target is not factual but perceptual, and can NOT be addressed through policy prescriptions, the activism goes for naught.

Plenty of examples on both sides of that coin.

Hope that helps.

Written by

Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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