Why I Too Am Boycotting the NFL + 3 Things I’ll Do Instead

img_0364My personal journey to #BoycottTheNFL begin nearly 4 years…

On the heels of the Ray Rice elevator video of a domestic violence incident with his then girlfriend, now wife, I shared this in an October 1, 2014 blog post, Too Close to Home: Thoughts on Domestic Violence, the NFL & Much More…

I am a survivor of domestic violence.

What follows are my thoughts based on such an identity, position, and worldview.

While the physical scars have long faded, it’s undeniable that the emotional and psychological scars that remain. Specifically, I know all too well what fear feels like on a regular basis. The out of your control ambiguity causing you to be hyper-aware and make decisions of your every word and action to not set the other person off, which can be a constant moving target. As a child growing up in this environment it often felt like a carousel of highs, lows, and so-so moments all in one day or week. Now after various forms of therapy (I cannot emphasize enough the importance of mental health and how addressing my own has aided in my intentional-driven life), this cycle of violence felt more like a hamster wheel that I could never get off until it came time for me to leave for college when I finally felt in control, free, and safe.

While this is the first time I have written publicly about this dimension of my identity, I can no longer remain silent about a topic—domestic violence—that is too close to home. I was hopeful when our country was highlighting (though in a sensationalized way) the intersection of entertainment, masculinity, and violence just a few weeks ago. However, in the time that it has taken me to gather my thoughts, it seems the gravity of the various situations that have surfaced have since faded with the official start of the NFL season.

And then, it was the NFL’s punitive response to domestic violence and other violent conduct instead of a potentially restorative one that led to my personal boycott in spite of my lifelong love for Sunday and Monday night football. And I gotta say, I got some valuable time back. I continue to view Sunday’s  as an invitation for fun. That’s why I choose to wrap this post with the “3 Things I’ll be Doing Instead” of watching the NFL this season.

First though, I want to share why I stand in solidarity with fellow Justice Seeker, Freedom Fighter & Social Justice Warrior Shaun King in today calling for a national boycott of the NFL by my family, friends, and larger community, which Shaun began earlier this month in his post, Together, let’s boycott the NFL. Based on that post, here are just a few of the facts we can choose critically chew on or continue to ignore:

img_0330-1White supremacists are marching on American cities and running over peaceful people with their cars. 830 people have been killed by American police so far this year and only a few among us can name even a single victim. To this day, four different white supremacists who beat the life out of Deandre Harris in the parking lot of the Charlottesville Police Department are still on the loose and have not yet been identified. It’s been a month.

This is why Colin Kaepernick took a peaceful knee in the first place. He was right to take a knee. Hell, our entire nation should be taking a knee or raising a fist right now. …

img_0328League executives have openly admitted that they “genuinely hate him. [Kaepernick]” Let’s stop right there for a moment. How could that even be? Hate what? What has this man done to warrant such strong disdain? (Also read, What 45 Can Learn From Colin Kaepernick)

Please allow me to remind you that at least seven different NFL team owners gave $1 million or more to Donald Trump’s campaign. No other sports league in the world is even close to that number. If you don’t think Colin being shut out of the NFL has anything to do with this, then you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the problem. These white men hate Colin, like Donald Trump hates Colin, and like Trump hates Obama, because they cannot believe a black man stepped into power without their permission. These white team owners cannot believe that Colin took a stance against injustice in America without their expressed permission and blessing. And they particularly cannot believe that when they expressed their displeasure, that he continued to do it anyway — with players all over the league following his example. That’s why they hate him. He is a quiet, peaceful man. To hate him says much more about you than it does about Colin.

As my dad used to say, “The good ‘ole boys network (code for white males in power) in full effect.” All this to say,  if you stand for justice and want bite-sized + deliberate ways to take action, it’s this simple…

Don’t watch the games. Any of them. Not in person and not on television.

Cancel any subscription services to the league — like Sunday Ticket — if you have one.

Don’t even watch the damn highlights.

  1. Pledge here to not watch a single NFL game or highlight.
  2. Join Our Facebook Community Here.
  3. Follow boycott on Twitter @TheNFLBoycott

I leave you with this reminder…

Listen, we have power. Our money has power. Our viewership has power. Our buying power can sway what companies do or don’t support. But we have to unify and make this power mean something. ~ Shaun King

With this power, I will be doing these…

3 Things I’ll Do Instead:

  1. Get Ready for the Week Ahead: There’s power in being intentional about preparing for your week. Laundry, grocery shopping, and reviewing the calendar for logistics, these are just a few of my favorite things to wrap-up as the weekend comes to a close.
  2. Move My Own Body: While I love watching sport, I love playing it even more.  This is my reminder to do so in an effort to move my own body.
  3. A Family Adventure: Sunday’s are for family fun! The world is our oyster when we step away from the tube. What adventure will you create?

Mad love to Shaun for inspiring this post and my own continued action. Remember, change begins with a belief. And, we have the agency as individuals and a collective to stand up for racial justice. As such, I invite you to Take a Knee this NFL season and in your extra time, check out this collaborative resource list of How to Stand Up for Racial Justice.

Once you have taken the 3 Actions above, then let me know below in the comments for some Intentional Justice Love.

In lovelution…


Lesson 6: There’s Always Something to Learn

I am a Lifelong Learner.

Being a learner is all I’ve know. Learning has been part of my everyday since I can remember and has been aided by the fact that I have never left the field of education. That said, let’s consider the definition of what it means to learn…

learn (v.): gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.

I truly believe we all have an innate ability to learn, to explore and understand our curiosities and in turn igniting our love and passion for particular skill or knowledge. To do so, requires a willingness to take risk and be uncomfortable, and likely fail once, twice, or more only to try again. Yet, what I’ve come to know to be true is that this is where the growth happens. It’s in what my wife calls F.A.I.L (frequent attempts in learning). With each F.A.I.L, we’re invited to learn from the repetition and make adjustments accordingly to continue to grow.

Even when you build or create something based on your strengths, you are asked to stand confident and trust these assets when the days get hard and you’re braving the wilderness as an individual, leader, or parent.

As Pema Chödrö urges us,

When we are willing to stay even a moment with uncomfortable energy, we gradually learn not to fear it.

This wisdom has been further highlighted by Brené Brown’s new book, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone, in which I was invited to learn something new. In less than 48 hours of starting and finishing this book, I can now see that I have been in the wildness becoming the wilderness learning to stand alone and belong to myself 💕The result, learning to Love Yourself like a Mother! with Intentional Justice™ Because with bite-sized + deliberate action we can ALL be the wildness 🌲✨🌴

I’m ready to use the “braving” tools in my own life as I continue the dance of being a mamapreneur + love leader while embracing my role, responsibilities, and impact as both an Instructional Data Manager & Champion at a small charter management organization in Oakland, CA. To do so, I have learned a new software and platform that a year ago I was just beginning to learn along with the structure and culture of an organization. In Reflections on the Learning Curve, I share my insights with fellow Data Champions who may be new to such a role or simply listen in to learn more about my work.

Since this recording, I was invited during a recent team meeting focused on community-building to answer my “why for the work” and this is what I shared:

As a lifelong learner who has never left the field of education, my why of this work is using my love of data to tell a compelling and holistic story as I live + ignite a Lovelution of Intentional Justice™

Which leads me to the biggest lesson of all that has come from my decades of perpetual learning…

Lesson 6 Mama J

Three of favorite ways to learn is…

  1. reading a book,
  2. taking a class/course, or
  3. attending a conference.

In fact, I recently took a leap to find and then request support (time and professional development funds) to attend an evaluation and assessment conference focused on “cultural responsiveness.” The result, a week from today I will be at the beginning of a new learning journey, which will be 4 days of learning and integrating at a leading conference (without the fam–all the feels!) on the topic next week (September 25-29) in Chicago. Woot, woot!

I can’t think of a better way to step away from the juggle of life, motherhood, and entrepreneurship than to learn and explore a new topic that I can immediately put to use and aligns with my dreams and desires. That’s Intentional Justice™ 🌈

Did you know I share my daily journey over on IG?

Click here to follow along.

Now I invite you to consider…

  • What’s been your biggest lesson from exploring a topic or skill that was once new yet now is old hat?
  • What’s something that’s recently invigorated a love of learning?
  • Does learning more about it have you willing to take a leap out of your comfort zone?

And if you feel compelled to share as a way to take action, then answer one or more of the Qs below in the comments as it’s where the lovelution begins…

Every social justice movement that I know of has come out of people sitting in small groups, telling their life stories, and discovering that other people have shared similar experiences.

♥ Gloria Steinem ♥

Each of us as individuals and members of our collective sociopolitical context (family, community, country, and globe) have a new story to tell as it relates to DACA, Harvey, Irma, Barcelona, and let’s not forget Charlottesville. This just in the last 30ish days. The constant wave of notifications and news updates of tragedy and injustice seem endless.

As a Justice Warrior, Freedom Fighter, and Revolutionary Seeker, it’s exhausting, emotional, and weighs on our psyches. That said, I’m answering the call I hear of folks yearning for a safe place to dialogue, especially in-person. Sound like YOU? Add your name to Mama J’s “First to Know” Interest List here for deets on future Intentional Justice™ Circles.

In lovelution…

2017 Total Solar Eclipse Reflections

By no surprise, I was called to the water for Monday’s Total Solar Eclipse…

My eclipse view “clouded” ☁️

The water called  🌊

The experience no less profound 💫

Then she peeked out just in time 🌔

The clouds broke just as the moon was moving East.

Once I realized my experience of totality would be “clouded,” I grounded in the opportunity to feel its effects. And, feel its impact, I did. The emotions I experienced were profound. So clearly felt. It began as a vibration of my heart at the start of the eclipse and concluded with a focused heart 💖

Ready to put my stories on the figurative paper to raise our collective consciousness 🌈✨✊🏽

I recorded this…

When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. – Audre Lorde

I plan to share more details of what this looks like in the coming weeks and months, and what this means for YOU!

For now, I’d love to hear about your eclipse viewing experience:

  • How was it? What was magical?
  • What message was revealed to your heart during the total solar eclipse?
  • What dreams rose to the surface?

Tell me yours in the comments👇🏽☀️✨🌚 It’s where the magic happens!

In lovelution 💕 ~ mama j

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