Oh Say Can You Say “Distracted”

A football player refuses to stand for the national anthem, instead choosing to sit alone on the bench to quietly protest what he sees as injustice in America. And the world as we know it loses its mind.

My social media feeds have been blowing up, and it’s been trending in the news since Saturday when the story first started to break.

A majority of my friends are outraged by this. Some contend that at a minimum the player should be penalized by his team or the league, and others go as far as saying he should be deported. Conversely there are a select few who support what he is doing.

One thing this story is doing, at least temporarily, is serving as a distraction.

Instead of nationally being focused on a presidential race where two terrible human beings, each trying to label the other as the biggest racist, are the two leading contenders, rather we are debating whether an athlete should be forced to stand up during the national anthem.

Across Kansas our elected leaders in their infinite wisdom stubbornly refuse to fix a tax plan that isn’t working, and instead balance the budget on the backs of our schools. Just Monday the library at Kansas State University announced big changes, staying open fewer hours and cutting staff. But we are debating whether a football player, who never graduated from college, has the right to sit instead of stand while the national anthem is sung.

Locally as we spend money to build on to our schools to make beautiful new classrooms, each year we have fewer teachers and out of control class sizes. Instead of someone taking a stand about this, we are more concerned about an athlete with a multi-million dollar contract taking a stand.

Perhaps the biggest winner in all of this is Ryan Lochte. Does anyone remember anything about a swimmer who was recently in the news?