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What do the Oscars and the NFL have in common?

on Wednesday, 22 August 2018. Posted in Letters to the Editor

Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS or ‘the Oscars’) and some members of the National Football League have one thing in common—they just don’t get it. ‘It’ being the reason the last Oscar show had the lowest ratings in many, many years and the reason football fans don’t like players kneeling, raising a fist or hiding in the tunnel during the National Anthem. They just don’t understand that the folks who are the backbone of America love the flag and what it represents.

Members of AMPAS and the NFL consider themselves to be professional; and they are professional entertainers who are paid millions and millions of dollars to entertain us. We want to be entertained at the movies, during the Oscars, and by the football game. We don’t want to hear their political views or hate speech while they are on the job.

In contrast consider the teaching profession. Public school teachers are not allowed to express their opinions in the classroom and are even forbidden by law to dare to mention God. To do so could mean the loss of a job. When I began my 38 year teaching career in 1975 it was still a noble profession; and, for all of those years I endeavored to model good citizenship and good moral character for my students and left my personal opinions and beliefs outside of the classroom. My job was to teach my subject curriculum. I imagine that the salary it took me one full year to earn teaching that a football player makes the instant he puts his foot on the field before he even touches the football. Yet, he dares to express his political opinion on his job without fear of losing that job.

May I suggest to AMPAS that they review some of the Oscar ceremonies back during the days of Olivia deHavilland and Cary Grant when class prevailed at the ceremony and political opinions did not.

For the NFL, I suggest sensitivity training for those players who do not know what our precious flag represents. They can begin by hanging a 5 foot by 7 foot picture in the locker room of our soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima; history lessons on the flag and it’s purpose going back to the Revolutionary War. I understand that a good bit of what used to be taught in history classes in our public schools, such as the Holocaust, are no longer taught which is a disgrace, but I digress—that’s another letter.

Finally, I would suggest that the NFL kneeling, fist-raising players talk to our veterans, such as those in Wounded Warriors, and, that they look that veteran in the eye, if he or she still has that eye, and tell that veteran why they choose to kneel.

Those professional actors and athletes don’t get that we want to be entertained while they are on the job and whatever opinion they express when off the job is their right to do.
Finally, I will say what I could not even post in a picture in my classroom—God Bless America. Heaven help us, we need it.

Susan O. Kirby
Effingham, SC

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