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Sports

NLF,Donald Trump, Take a Knee, #TakeAKnee, Equality, lives matter

I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly I wanted to say about this NFL take a knee situation and Donald Trump’s condemnation of it. I can’t believe how divided the country has become over the NFL taking a knee.  Are we really so collectively ignorant that we don’t understand what it’s about? I mean what is so controversial about taking a knee in silent protest of the divisive racism that plagues our nation currently, always if we’re being honest, only more openly these days?

I say shut up and take a knee. In my world, it is the only thing to do. Unless you want to stand up and throat punch racists, bigots and misogynists all day long like some kind of throat punching righter of wrongs superhero. I suspect it would be a full-time job, especially in Trump’s America.

Let’s get some facts straight:

  • In the United States, we have the right to peaceful protest.
  • Nowhere in the constitution does it demand that we stand for the National Anthem and wouldn’t we be hypocrites if we did stand to respectfully salute a country that only protects and respects some of us. This is no reflection of our military, I am referring to the laws in this country that allows us to treat some people as less than.
  • We are “the people” of “we the people” and we have every right to demand that equality.
  • You can take a knee and 1000% support our military. The National Anthem is not a homage we pay to our service men before every national sporting event.
  • Donald Trump picked a fight because he is a bully and that’s what he does. Apparently, his social feeds were lacking in drama so he created some.

To me, this entire controversy is stupid because we should all be taking a knee to demand equality for all Americans. If you are standing, either you don’t understand why the knee is being taken or you are part of the problem. I honestly think every person in the United States who believes in equality should take a knee. We should do a national knee in and refuse to move until things change. I’ve got time. I can type in a kneeling position.

This morning I read a post in which the author said that the NFL is messing up. They are putting asunder what is already not divided, they are bucking up the system and in the process messing up what America is all about….football. She spoke of the one nation of football under God and I kind of wanted to puke.

According to her, its all kumbaya and rainbows in the stands but these damn, political football players with all their lofty dreams of equality and oneness are messing up her tailgating and football time. In her mind, the NFL players are part of the problem. They only need look into the stands to see that the country is united in football. Can’t we all just get along?

Firstly, this woman is part of the problem. Secondly, I was very recently in the stands and just like the United States, if you are sitting in the wrong section, it’s not so comfortable and united. It’s pretty fucking scary and intimidating. It’s like openly accepted prejudice. As a Latina woman, it felt the same as being the only minority in an all-white, male event.

Sure, it’s awesome if you’re part of the majority. For you, it’s all chicken wings and beer, extraneous high fives and lots of shouting. For the minority, the wrong person in the wrong place, wrong color at the wrong time, it is uncomfortable AF. There I stood, in the wrong section, rooting for the wrong team.

Aside from the expected normal rude, loud, obnoxious behavior that anyone tends to get being the minority anywhere, especially at an organized sporting event where alcohol is sold to fuel the fire, one particularly deranged fan took it even further and personally, tried to pick a fight with me by first accusing me of stealing his seat to then accusing me of stealing his water? I was pretty flabbergasted because a) I’m an adult b) I had the brains to buy 4 bottles of water in 100 degree temperature when I knew I was in row 1 and my out of shape, old-self wasn’t going to be making multiple trips up and down those stadium stairs and c) I.AM.GROWN !

Now, if I were a meeker woman this short, fat, balding loud man would have made me feel threatened and scared. As it were, he just really pissed me off and I was completely prepared to throw his ass over the railing and go to jail for it because I can no longer shut my mouth while some loud-mouthed white guy tries to intimidate me into shutting up and staying in line. That is the problem.

And this woman who says the NFL players only need to look to the stands, to their fans, to see the cohesiveness and unitedness of this great nation under God, well, that broad is delusional. She in particular needs to take a knee because she is the biggest part of the problem. She refuses to believe there is a problem because, for her, there is no problem. It must be nice to have the option to not see the problem because it does not affect you whatsoever but for those who it does, standing up for the National Anthem is not an option. We all need to take a collective knee to stand up for equality.

What is your opinion and why on the NFL players taking a knee?

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Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer

Disclosure: This is a sponsored collaboration with Target but all opinions and the love of soccer are my own.

Chiquitibum a la bim bom ba, chiquitiboom a la bim bom ba, a la bio, a la bao, a la bim bom ba, favorite team name, favorite team name Rah rah rah!!!

This is the siren song of my childhood. Add to that a vuvuzela and you have my countless World Cup experiences. In case you haven’t guessed it, I come from a soccer (futbol if you want to be technically correct) family.

Chicago, family, homegating, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer

I was raised on soccer. My dad and uncles played soccer in Mexico and then, here in the United States, all of my brothers and sisters played soccer, all of my cousins and now all of the nieces and nephews.

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

Even my two ballerinas are known to trade in their pointe shoes for an occasional pair of cleats. Soccer has been coursing through our veins for decades.

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

We’re not alone. Did you know that more than nine million kids played in youth soccer leagues in 2016, making it one of the top youth-participation sports in the country?

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

Soccer matches (here and abroad) were what we watched most weekends. If we weren’t playing soccer, we were watching it at the fields or on television. We love everything about it; the game, the intensity, the skill, the strategy and the stories behind each player. We were invested. Our first hero was Edson Arantes do Nascimento better known as Pele. It’s not just opinion but fact, he was the greatest player of all time.

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

In fact, most Cruz kids who played soccer have played under the numbers 10 or 12. My family has used those numbers from preschool all the way through their days of recruitment to play for the university.

We even have one cousin who played for the MLS before heading overseas to play in Europe. This is not to brag that my family is a bunch of die-hard soccer fans. It’s just a fact.

 

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

The literal motto for our family is play with passion. In fact, do everything in life with passion. Do what you love until your legs are so rubbery below you that you fall to your knees in elated exhaustion. This is something that soccer has taught us and this is how we live our lives. Going for it.all day. Every day.

 

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

You can imagine how excited I was when I learned that one of my favorite brands, Target, is sponsoring this year’s MLS All Star Game in my hometown, Chicago next Wednesday.

Chicago, family, soccer, MLS, All Star Game, Major League Soccer, Target, Youth Soccer, homegating

The All Star game is a celebration of the growing momentum and popularity of soccer in the U.S and Target is proud to be a part of that not only by supporting the MLS but by also. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend but I will be hosting a “homegating” party with my family as we watch the MLS All Star Game on August 2nd.

Are you excited? Will you be watching the Target sponsored MLS All Star Game? What is the one thing that bonds your family through thick and thin throughout time?

 

 

 

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