The Popcorn Stand: The America I want

As I’ve written before Vince Lombardi once said, “Winning isn’t a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing.” And I’ve also written before to paraphrase Lombardi, “Patriotism isn’t a sometime thing, it’s an all the time thing.”

So again, full disclosure never been a big fan of our president, Donald Trump, as a person. And to be totally honest ever since Trump disparaged a war hero and POW in John McCain and said things like “our military is a disaster,” I have a hard time with Trump lecturing me or anyone else on patriotism. Again, patriotism isn’t a sometime thing. It’s an all the time thing. You can’t pick and choose your patriotism.

And we need to get our priorities straight. The NFL has looked the other way on a lot of issues such as concussions and domestic abuse, billionaire owners have exploited their fans by asking for the taxpayers to fund their stadiums — and then they move their teams — and this is the issue that makes us tell the NFL enough is enough.

As far as my patriotism is concerned, I’m a lot more embarrassed by Ryan Lochte than Colin Kaepernick. As I’ve written before, when Lochte was chosen to be on “Dancing With the Stars,” I boycotted the show even though I had never watched the show in the first place.

As far as Kaepernick and all the other NFL players who choose not to stand for the national anthem as Red Smith, my favorite columnist who we named this column in his honor, once wrote, I can see both sides. I can see the side of those, particularly those who served in our military, who are offended by what they see as a lack of respect for our flag and country — and the sacrifice they made. But I can also see the side of the players who believe too many aren’t being treated with dignity nor receive justice. And isn’t that what this is all about? Again, I’ve written this before we all want the same thing and actually have more in common than we think. We all want to be treated with dignity and we all want justice.

As a patriot, that’s the America I want.

— Charles Whisnand


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