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…

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