Taya Kyle, the widow of “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, one of the most decorated Navy Seals in history, is not one for keeping her mouth shut on controversial topics. And when Kyle, a football fan and – more importantly – a patriot of undisputed repute – saw the shameful anthem-kneeling protests of this weekend, she felt it was her duty to speak out. In a passionate post on her Facebook page, Kyle blasted the NFL owners and players who “took a knee” on Sunday and encouraged them to find a better way to get their message across.
“Your desire to focus on division and anger has shattered what many people loved most about the sport,” she wrote in an open letter to the NFL. “Football was really a metaphor for our ideal world — different backgrounds, talents, political beliefs and histories as one big team with one big goal — to do well, to win, TOGETHER.
“You are asking us to abandon what we loved about togetherness and make choices of division,” she continued. “Will we stand with you? Will we stand with our flag? What does it mean? What does it mean if we buy a ticket or NFL gear? What does it mean if we don’t? It is the polar opposite of the easy togetherness we once loved in football.
“It was simple – we loved you and you loved us – with all of our races, religions, different backgrounds and politics,” she argued. “Simplicity in a crazy world was pretty awesome.
“You dear NFL, have taken that. You have lost me here,” she said.
As with so many other critics of the NFL’s woefully-misguided actions of this weekend, you can hear the heartbreak in Kyle’s tone. That’s not a put on. That’s real pain, and you’d better believe it is a pain shared by millions of NFL fans across the country. Sunday has always been a getaway from the political divisions that have plagued this country. You didn’t have to think about Republicans and Democrats and feminists and whatever else. You just had to take a seat, grab some snacks, and enjoy the greatest game in the world.
Now the left has ruined that, and yes, it’s a time for mourning.
Football has an opportunity to move beyond this controversy, cut politics out of its game, and welcome back the fans who are still disgusted by the anti-American travesty the league tolerated on Sunday. But to do so will take courage. It will take the courage to drop the leftist narrative and drop the support for players who think a protest against the flag says something meaningful about racism and police brutality. Do they have the courage to walk away? Do they have the courage to support our nation?
We shall see.