Monday, October 16, 2017

Football Player Russel Okung Shows Courage, Humility and Grace

Calls for Players to Be an Active, Positive Force

Some NFL players were silently, peacefully and gracefully protesting the killing of unarmed African Americans by police. The start was made by a San Francisco player named Colin Kaepernick, who was blacklisted from the NFL for his efforts.

Russell Okung of the Los Angeles Chargers before an exhibition game in August. CreditJohn Hefti/Associated Press

Now another player has spoken up. Russel Okung is a Los Angeles Charger who has written an open letter to his fellow players. The first thing he did, the thing that gives him credibility is that he admists to being wrong.

Things have clearly gotten out of control. As a pragmatist, I will admit, I initially doubted the merits of Colin Kaepernick’s protest and questioned his strategy.

I was wrong.

There is now no doubt in my mind that what he did last season was a courageous, prophetic, self-sacrificial act that has captivated a nation and inspired a powerful movement.

If I had his cellphone number, I would tell him that.

That makes his message powerful. And the message is for the players to act as Americans, to communicate as one in a peaceful and powerful voice. Would that Trump and Pence learn from his quiet dignity.

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