A youth football team in Texas was disbanded last year after sponsoring a controversial anti-American protest. But now several NFL players have banded together to reward the team for its unpatriotic actions and help it reform.
A group of NFL players organized to donate $20,000 to help revive the Beaumont Bulls of Beaumont, Texas, after the pre-teen football team caused controversy for leading an anti-American protest in emulation of disgraced former San Francisco 49ers 2nd string quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
The team of 11 to 12-year-old boys was disbanded last year after coach Rah Rah Barber led his boys to take a knee during the playing of the national anthem. The Bay Area Football League immediately suspended Barber, and the team’s games were eventually canceled as the controversy grew.
But with the intervention of a group of NFL players, the team has been reformed as the Southeast Texas Oilers and have joined a different local youth football league.
According to ESPN, the group of players includes, “Malcolm Jenkins and Torrey Smith of the Philadelphia Eagles; New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty; and free-agent wide receiver Anquan Boldin.”
“We wanted to make sure that we sent those kids the message that it’s OK to stand up for what you believe in,” Malcolm Jenkins said. “We didn’t want them to walk away from the season feeling punished for trying to do the right thing. We wanted to make sure that was rewarded and acknowledged and encouraged, so that was our main motivation for helping.”
The $20K went to pay for equipment that the team needs to get started for the 2017 season.
The players intervened to encourage the anti-American protests despite the feelings of local citizens and parents who sponsor the youth football league.
Malcolm Jenkins continued to explain that the protest was what sparked the NFL players to act.
“As role models, when you step out there, and you demonstrate something, especially something as big as what happened last year with the protests in the NFL. . . . I think it’s definitely the responsibility of those out in front to think about the impact that it has on everyone behind them,” Jenkins said.
“Because some of these kids and coaches and youth teams don’t have the same protections and securities that we have. And so I think it’s definitely a responsibility to at least thoroughly explain why you demonstrated, why you’re doing what you’re doing, so that people understand the risks and consequences, and that you also encourage them and support them.”
Coach Barber is pledging to continue the anti-American protests once they begin their new season. In fact, Barber says that the team won’t play the national anthem because it is a “degrading song.”
“It’s not a song that we will be playing at the beginning of our football games,” Barber told the media. “We might play ‘God Bless America’ [or] ‘America the Beautiful.’
“As an organization, as a board, we all agreed it’s not an appropriate song. It’s a degrading song.”
Barber insisted that the third verse of the “Star Spangled Banner” celebrates slavery, but the coach is clearly ignorant of the facts.
The passage in question, “No refuge could save — the hireling & slave, From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave,” is not talking about chattel slavery. It was referring to the practice of the British Navy of “impressing” defeated enemies into service in the Royal Navy. At the time the song was written the British forces essentially kidnapped and enslaved American seamen and forced them to serve the British Crown.
Clearly, this group of NFL players intends to reward ignorance of history and hate for the United States among 12-year-old children.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.