Based on various things being said or posted on social media its readily apparent that some NFL players, like Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker, simply don’t get it.
But it’s equally apparent some are getting the message. They’re getting it because fans are seeing to it that they do.
USA Today has published a story about Detroit Lions’ Ameer Abdullah, a running back who has adopted the practice of taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem, and who has been showered with letters from fans expressing their outrage over his actions.
Yesterday Abdullah decided to share some of his mail via his Instagram account and, well, it seems fans are none too happy:
“Ameer Abdullah was one of many NFL players this season who knelt during the national anthem, taking part in a protest movement began by Colin Kaepernick last year to protest police brutality and inequality in America.
On Monday, he shared some of the letters on Instagram stories he received from fans who weren’t thrilled with him:
“You don’t respect the Anthem and Flag of the Country that has given you so much,” one fan wrote. “Clearly, you don’t respect anything. People who follow you are foolish, because sooner or later, you’ll turn on them too.”
“What kind of organizations[sic] tolerates its employees deliberately alienating customers? Why didn’t Coach Caldwell, who is a good coach and appears to be a decent human being, exercise some leadership and mentorship with these young men so they would protest at a time and place that would be constructive instead of insulting, hateful, disrespectful and divisive,” wrote another.
Abdullah said earlier this season that he knew not everyone would be supportive of his taking part in the protests. “Not everybody is going to root for you — that’s something that my dad voiced to me when I was really young,” he said (via WXYZ TV). “Not everybody is going to like you, and definitely if somebody doesn’t like me about my stance on a situation – especially when it comes down to racial issues – then I don’t really want that guy rooting for me anyway.”
As for Caldwell’s reaction? This is what he said in August:
“I think the world can take a lot of what we do in sports. It’s a highly diverse community. Guys get along from all walks of life, and there’s no place in this game for bigotry and hatred.”
Abdullah, not surprisingly, isn’t the only Lions player to hear from fans about the protest. His teammate said last week that his dad was denied a job after he knelt before the game.“
Is it enough to cause Abdullah and others to change their behavior? We can’t say for certain, but with shrinking attendance, season ticket holders making homemade videos of themselves burning their tickets, ever-declining TV ratings, and tanking apparel sales, it may be just a matter of time until they do.
[NOTE: This article was written by Derrick Wilburn, Founder and Chairman of the Rocky Mountain Black Conservatives, and a speaker, author, columnist and analyst for multiple print and broadcast media outlets. Follow him on Facebook, and at RMBlackConservatives.com]