A Challenge to NFL Kneelers

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Olivier Vernon of the New York Giants kneels during the national anthem before their game against the San Francisco 49ers in November 2017. (Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Olivier Vernon of the New York Giants kneels during the national anthem before their game against the San Francisco 49ers in November 2017. (Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

NFL kneelers have been protesting against what they deem is endemic police brutality. While those claims have been refuted by a number of studies, if NFL kneelers truly oppose unfair police treatment, they have the chance this month to send an important message to a police force that has truly proven to be brutal: the UK’s “blue line.”

October is an unusual month for the National Football League (NFL). Six teams will play three games against each other in London’s Wembley Stadium:

  • Seattle Seahawks vs. Oakland Raiders (October 14)
  • Tennessee Titans vs. Los Angeles Chargers (October 21
  • Philadelphia Eagles vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (October 28).

These games provide a unique opportunity for players—some still kneeling while our national anthem is played—to do something worthwhile.

Since NFL kneelers have not done sufficient homework concerning police brutality here in the U.S., they most likely have not heard of the story in the UK of “Sarah” (not her real name for reasons that will be made clear) and many more like her.

Tragically, what happened to Sarah could have been stopped by proper police action. Unfortunately, since it was not, it turned into a national tragedy.

Britain, as well as other European countries, is plagued with “sex grooming” gangs composed of Muslim men. Young males roam the streets looking for women or girls to kidnap, gang rape, traffic as sex slaves, torture and sometimes murder. Members of one gang spotted Sarah in a grocery store parking lot 12 years ago when she was 15.

Only able to escape recently, she is courageously telling her story. Doing so, however, has required her to go into hiding. This is not only to evade her captors (who are still searching for her and harassing her) but also the police who refused to help her family find her and, after her escape, threatened her should she go public with her story.

While Sarah suffered repeated rapes and eight abortions during the 12 years she was held, police rejected her parents’ desperate pleas for help, even refusing to list her as missing. Even after Sarah’s parents located the house where she was initially being held, the police refused to move in.

The reason for their inaction was they feared being labeled racists.

After Sarah’s escape, she immediately sought medical help for her beatings. Police were called and she pleaded for protection. A Muslim policeman from the same neighborhood as the gang (and later imprisoned for child sex crimes) warned her not to press charges.

Sarah has been forced to live in hiding away from her family for fear for their lives as well as her own. Her ordeal is not over.

As the story of the systematic abuse by young British girls by multiple gangs of Muslim men (who viewed the girls as “white trash”) unfolded in the UK, it was revealed the police – as well as mostly all other government employees — failed to pursue the perpetrators or even help the girls for fear of being labeled racists.

Thus, an adjective that you will almost never see in the press to describe such gangs — although its members are — is Muslim. Even though gang members said that their actions specifically target white “infidel” girls whom they view as subhuman and thus “fair game,” the Muslim composition of the gangs, just like the composition of the 9/11 terrorists, is not spoken about.

Just as with the NFL kneelers movement – where the U.S. media fueled a false narrative of police action, the UK media has failed to project a true image of these gangs, their Islamist supremacist views and those contributing to the problem by their inaction against them.

Despite the threat posed to the country’s children, few politicians are willing to talk about the problem. Last summer, an open letter was sent to UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid urging coordinated action against these gangs.

Ironically, while Javid, as the UK’s first Muslim home secretary acknowledges the problem within his community, only 20 of the 650 members of parliament had the guts to sign the letter.

Thus, if a protest against police is warranted, the UK police have earned it. While blame needs to be shared by their politicians who have been unwilling to take aggressive action to protect their own children, it is no justification for their own blue line to waver in the defense of the young.

Our NFL kneelers have an opportunity to shine an international spotlight on the plight of these UK children. Their challenge is this: On game day, kneel as Britain’s national anthem is played.

Nike projects the image of Colin Kaepernick as a social justice warrior representing the company’s “Just do it” slogan. Will our NFL kneelers rise to this challenge and become warriors for a real cause or will they show themselves instead to be athletes spoiled by outrageous salaries who are fly-by-night social activists, unmotivated to act where truth and the lives of innocent children are really involved?



Kidnapped Teenage Girl Held for 12 Years by Sex Grooming Gang

7 Tips for Colin Kaepernick

Survivor: Sex Gangs Motivated by Religious Extremism


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James Zumwalt

Lt.-Col. James G. Zumwalt is a retired Marine infantry officer who served in the Vietnam war, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf war. He is the author of three books on the Vietnam war, North Korea and Iran as well as hundreds of op-eds.