As I watch the divisive intersection of athletics, nationalism, corporatism, and politics around the issue of the national anthem at NFL games, I’m saddened to realize that we are reaping what we have sown.
Men in our society have abdicated their responsibility to lead their families and communities.
Instead they are sitting around with a beer and a wing, health spiraling, families failing, faith waning and allowing athletes, CEO’s, media, and politicians to set their life’s agenda and manipulate its message.
Before you begin to tell me that the misinformed, malcontent, man-child, athletes are showing leadership, let me remind you that their only function or “job” as an athlete is to entertain. The NFL is simply a form of entertainment. The same as a movie, book, video game, or other medium through which you and I seek a hopefully small amount of time enjoying within the context of our greater life endeavors.
However, our society is obsessed with athletics and it is unhealthy.
Athletics at its root is meant to be a device through which we cultivate our physical bodies in healthy balance with our mental, emotional, and spiritual development. It is currently a national obsession out of balance with each of the aforementioned modalities of life.
I have some insight into this as I once was an athlete. An athlete that reached an elite level of competition, won national championships, was scouted and recruited, and lived a false life and identity.
You see when you are born with a unique athletic talent or in my case when you work really hard to develop one you are put on a pedestal. You are treated differently. You are told and shown that the rules don’t apply to you. That you are better. And you start to believe it.
But it is not rooted in reality.
The reality is that as an elite athlete you have no damn clue who you are, what you believe in, or how to be a Man. Even less so than the “average” male.
So Men STOP putting athletes on a pedestal. STOP worshiping their athletic abilities. STOP empowering them. STOP making them your hero.
Instead…BECOME THE HERO OF YOUR OWN LIFE.
You may not know how to do this until you take some time to really reflect. But the NFL players and owners (along with the media and politicians) have provided you with this wake up call. It doesn’t matter whether you believe in standing or kneeling or any particular side of this distorted argument…Seize This Opportunity.
Love football and can’t live without it on Sunday? Start by taking your son, daughter or neighborhood kid out to play. Form your own neighborhood league. Teach the skills and techniques for playing. Demonstrate sportsmanship and the true meaning of competition.
Spend the time cultivating your leadership within your life and your community. As a Man you were born to do this. See where it leads. I’ll bet to a more meaningful and impactful existence that will soon have YOU as the hero of your own life!