It has been a while since WE posted and for that I apologize but today is your lucky day!
I had to share my thoughts today, on this week 3 of the NFL season. This morning I sent Maria a link from my morning reading with the headline, "Trump turns sports into a political battleground with comments on NFL, Curry." This was before I started to read about the invite no invite situation with the Warriors and the back forth between 45 and Gdodell.
Can I pause to remember the relationship that was sports and the White House the last 8 years?
Ok, I'm back.
I also saw posts about the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens locking arms before their game in London and was surprised. I did not expect to see players, owners, coaches, and staff united like that. It made me think about the calls to boycott the NFL after Colin Kapernick starts this season not on a NFL roster and other unfavorables by the NFL. Not many people know this but boycotting the NFL would not be a stretch for me. I have been to a total of 1.5 NFL games in my life compared to countless basketball games. The only game of football I grew up with lasted 90 minutes and only stopped for fake injuries and penalty kicks. So when asked this morning if all this hype was going to get me to watch games this Sunday my response was, "I ain't giving the NFL no ratings!" Boycotting and withholding financial support from NFL sends a message that we want to be heard. After hanging up though I had one of those Oprah AHA! moments. I realized by not giving them ratings we could also be effecting the livelihoods of the very players who stand up for those who go unheard. Boycotting could also effect many of my friends who work for the NFL or NFL team. Yes, I know, players make millions and there would never be enough people boycotting to chink the armor that is the NFL but I am not one to intentionally take food from another's plate, regardless of our differences.
When I see all this and countless other players and teams speak up I can't but to smile knowing the thinking and culture of sports is starting to change and its for the good. This change should not be a surprise as more athletes, especially minorities, start to realize their skills on the court or field give them influence outside the lines. As players speak up it is important to remember change also comes from within an organization. Boycotting the NFL may send a message but imagine if those listening to that message had the perspectives to match the changing landscape of today's athletes and fans.
That imagination has become our mission as The Winning Edge and our supporters work to make diversity in sports business a reality. Sports can be a tool for change. As I read responses from NFL owners this morning I hope they turn that support of their players' rights into action beyond Sundays and into one that truly speaks to equality for all, including opportunities in their front office. If anything, I think we can all agree that diversity is good business and at the end of the day that's the NFL, a business. sport is a tool for change and today we are starting to see what happens when people want to see change. I am hype because I know only good will come from change like this.