Football is symbolic of everything that is American. That’s why we call it America’s Game. Winning football requires commitment, teamwork and accepting personal responsibility.
Coaches preach the concept of teamwork, that as a group, players can achieve much more than acting individually. On the larger field of life, Americanism represents the same concept, that of working as a team, Americans can help the world achieve the goal of freedom and justice for all.
A few NFL players have chosen to withhold their allegiance to the Team Colors of America, the symbol of ‘One nation, under God, for liberty and justice for all.’ They say they can’t support a flag that has failed to provide ‘justice for all.’
Football is a game of symbols and allegiances. It pits teams against each other to determine a penultimate winner. Each team has its team colors and they celebrate their commonality and allegiance every weekend, by going onto the field and giving their teammates an unqualified effort to win.
Players will tell you they hope to play for a team franchise with a legacy of winning. They feed off of the traditions and history of those who came before them. They hope to contribute to building on those records and continuing winning traditions. They will tell you that a team’s legacy motivates them to work and play harder.
In the game of life, playing for Team America is a privilege not a right. Being an American involves more than just showing up. It is a challenge to live up to the aspirations that Americanism requires. To make it work, we all must trust each other to be there when another teammate comes up short. No one player can do it alone. The Flag is just our symbol, but we Americans must play the game. We need each other, because as individuals, we often do come up short.
At the end of the day, not every team succeeds. You win some and you lose some, but you always play to win. It is counterproductive to blame any one player for a team defeat. Pointing fingers at each other is a selfish indulgence and a formula for disaster.
For over 250 years the American Flag has stood tall against oppression and tyranny. It is the Team Colors of Liberty. No matter what your religious or political persuasion, there is no other franchise with a longer tradition of winning for the oppressed than Team America.
That is why this whole idea of refusing to pay tribute to the American Flag is so disheartening and selfish. It says that other teammates have come up short, and you, by demonstrating your anger, are blaming them.
Disrespecting our Team Colors undermines our team’s efforts to promote liberty and justice for all. It is the exact wrong way to achieve admirable goals.