An Open Letter to the NFL

“For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” Isaiah 30:18

Dear NFL players, coaches, staff, and owners:

I have an idea.

We all know that there is racial injustice in our land. It is appalling that people get treated differently depending on the colour of their skin. It’s absolutely wrong that people die or are mistreated solely because of their ethnicity. It’s inhumane, it’s criminal, and it’s completely un-American.

Recently, protesting during the national anthem by kneeling or remaining in your locker has received much media attention and reaction from the fans.

So, in that regard, the protesting has been successful. It has started a conversation; you have garnered attention. I don’t know if this is what you expected, or if you are pleased with the outcome so far.

But I have a better idea.

Let’s fix it. Let’s do something about social justice and racial reconciliation.

As NFL players, coaches, staff, and owners, you are people of great influence and resource. So consequently, you can do more than protest. Much more.

So here’s my idea.

Pool your resources together and invest in real solutions to racial injustice.

I am not a sociologist or cultural expert on these issues, but here are a couple things that in my opinion could move past the protesting and move the ball down the field toward some real results.

  1. Start or support a national think tank of some of the brilliant minds in our country to dialogue and come up with a plan of action.
  2. Start or support a charitable organization that is already doing great work in this area. Begin working with them on these issues at the grass roots level and beyond.
  3. Combine this with a positive media campaign focused on education.

Just think, if every player who kneeled or stayed in the locker room during the national anthem last Sunday would contribute $1 million dollars to an organization that is on the front lines of education and implementation of successful racial reconciliation strategies, how much faster could we experience more peace and unity in our cities and country?

Which NFL player or team will lead the way? Who will step up and, forgive the expression, put their money where their knee is?

Which NFL team will rise to the occasion and say that we are not going to be about protesting, but we are going to be about helping our country find solutions?

Because at this moment, taking a knee or staying in the locker room during the national anthem, is doing more harm than good.

It is communicating disrespect — which is the very thing that drives injustice. It is especially disrespectful to those who have given their lives for our freedom.

Let’s do better. Let’s rise above this new civil war and do the hard work of doing hard work.

Thank you for your consideration.

Always hopeful,

Pat Sieler

P.S. On Friday, Sept. 29, my favourite team, the Seattle Seahawks,¬†announced the players are forming the “Equality & Justice for All Action Fund“. Other teams may have done similar efforts of which I am unaware. If you know of any other similar efforts, please share in the comments section.

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