Athletes – Standing Up For What You Believe Is Right

So everyone can read that I took some heat from last week’s post about the Pink in football.  I guess I must be gluten for punishment because I have no doubt I will get some not so nice comments on this one as well.  I think my entire point last week was more about standing up for what you believe in than anything else.  And I am going to carry on that train of thought for one more post.  I do this, because had I not always staunchly stood up for what I thought was right, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  And also, if I hadn’t been so scared to speak up sooner, my life and the life of others may have been dramatically different.

Having said that, I read a story today on CNN.com, http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/19/us/outspoken-pro-athletes/index.html?hpt=hp_c1 about a couple of NFL players who are catching crap from fans as well as team owners and everyone in general when they choose to voice their opinions about something they believe in.  Chris Kluwe from the Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Raven Brendon Ayanbadejo has both spoken out in favor of legalizing gay marriage.  NOW HOLD THE PHONE BEFORE YOU FLIP OUT PLEASE…this is not an article about my opinion on that.  Chris Kluwe is not homosexual, he is straight.  I am not sure about Ayanbadejo nor do I care.  My point is that Chris is taking MAJOR HEAT over a rather well written response he sent to state Delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. on the subject.  My point of view on what makes this story different is that Chris is not gay, but he believes in being able to stand up for what you believe in and is using his notoriety of being a professional athlete to do so.  I think that’s rather noble.  Especially in a testosterone driven society and the world of football in which he lives.

He is not the first to do such a thing.  The article goes on to mention boxer Muhammad Ali speaking out against the war and refusing to be drafted.  He was standing up for what he thought was right, and he used his boxing career to be a platform to jump off to become a huge figure in the civil rights movement.  Think about the earlier article where I talked about Kurt Warner and his comments on letting his own children play football and how dangerous it is and his take on the concussions in the NFL.  He took a lot of smack talk about that…and he’s simply trying to PROTECT PEOPLE, including his own children!  There are always going to be “haters” and people who don’t agree with you, but don’t let that get to you, stand up for what you believe in!

I believe that if people who have been fortunate enough to become notable in today’s society use their fame to bring awareness to issues, raise money, gain interest, whatever, I think it could only be a good thing.  No matter if you agree with what they are bringing awareness to or not.  It would not be a free country without our ability to stand up for what we believe in.  You don’t have to agree, but if you want to be heard, know that you have the freedom to do that, even if NOBODY else agrees with you.  Know that over the years, few have done it, and those that have, stand out in our minds as leaders.  It takes major guts to be the only one to stand up in a room full of your peers and raise your hand to a question that nobody wants to hear the answer to.  Think about what kind of nerve it takes for that one person to do that??  Why should we make them stand alone?

What kind of country will we become when we can’t use what little bit of power, we as individuals have, to stand up for what we believe in?

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