I’m not a huge football fan, but my husband loves it. Specifically, the Chiefs, but non-specifically, the sport. I can’t count the times that I’ve heard him instruct Siri to pull up the following: “NFL schedule,” “NFL standings,” “[insert team names] score.”
So it was a foregone conclusion that we would be wholly celebrating the season opener last night against the Texans. My friend Lori came over with El Charro tacos. We had assorted dips and rice. Laughs were had.
There was a somber moment in the beginning, though, prior to the game in a dedicated moment of silence in support of unity. Both teams stood in a line, arms interlocked with the players on either side of each. Standing both at attention and in solidarity. I teared up…for a second.
Because what I heard during this was…booing. It was a different pitch than the “Chiefs” crowd yell. It was deeply sad, but I also believed in humanity, so this morning, I looked up both teams on Twitter, as well as several articles covering the moment.
Regardless of what happened during the moment of silence, whether the crowd noise was actually booing or not, the comments on the posts were largely negative.
“I hope I don’t have to watch this crap before every game.”
“You’re players, not social justice warriors.”
“Don’t give them any more of your money.”
“We pay you to play.”
Those were some of the kinder negative comments. There was also one, from Twitter user @kimmer4444, that really spoke to the issue.
You can’t build sports empires off the backs of black and brown people and expect them to just “get in line” because you think it ruins YOUR experience. These are human beings and they’re in pain. If you truly loved the athletes of the sports you loved, you’d be in pain with them.
Therein lies the heart. How is that believing that we’re all equal has come to mean something political? How can you truly believe, to the core of your being, that you are somehow better than someone else because they have a different skin color/gender/partner preference? Where did it begin? What proof do you have that you’re right? Was it one experience with one person? Have you not had bad experiences with people who DO share your skin color? Your gender? Your partner preference? I know I had plenty of fights with girls all through middle and high school that looked a whole lot like me. We even liked the exact same boy. Did that mean I hated all other white, heterosexual girls? Never. I have an uncle who’s a real piece of work, and caused my whole family immeasurable pain for decades. Do I hate all uncles?
It feels like we all have a chip forming on our shoulders, ready to fight at a moment’s notice. But can we maybe, MAYBE, just kinda, brush that chip off before it fuses with our bone and causes a real medical anomaly? The hospitals are full enough right now, let’s not create an influx of chip/bone fusion syndrome.
Regardless of our allegiances, of our political affiliations, of our love of country, I feel that we should by and large accept our fellow men and women as equals. Maybe we’re better in some areas than the person next to us, but I promise they’re better in others. And thank GOODNESS for that, because as a collective whole, we’re getting a whole, whole lot more done. Can you imagine what a mess things would be if we were all the same? If everyone were as bad at math as me, probably the world would just be a smoldering, drifting rock at this point. I’m grateful for all you mathematicians out there (side note, just realized I didn’t even know how to spell “mathematicians”).
I love you guys.
Song of the day: U2, Pride (In the Name of Love). An anthem calling for peace, freedom, and equality, it also really gets the blood pumping.
*Featured Photo: Brett Coomer, Houston Chronicle / Staff Photographer