Sometimes, although certainly not always, powerful protests can be silent. Such was the case with the 34 brave New England Patriots who held to their principles of inclusion, diversity, kindness, and equality by refusing to participate in a visit to the White House after winning the Super Bowl while it’s most powerful resident is a racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic purveyor of hatred.
In a video featuring some of the New England Patriots football players who chose to sit the visit out as well as some beautifully supportive fans, the motivations behind their decision and their fans’ approval of those decisions were expressed. The sentiments were encouraging in a time when it seems that support of discrimination and exclusion has become the norm.
Fans and players first described the teams’ most recent Super Bowl win and talked about how they felt during the highs and lows of a game that seemed utterly impossible for the Patriots to win before turning around in the second half that ended in a Patriots victory for the fifth time since 2002. Once the joy of the win was spent, the players realized they would have to make a decision about that traditional White House visit with Donald Trump at the helm.
Devin McCourty, a safety and long-time team captain, gave his reasoning for refusing the invitation to the White House in clear and simple terms.
‘I DON’T BELIEVE IN EXCLUDING OTHER PEOPLE.’
Defensive end Chris Long cited his son as his reason for sitting out the visit.
‘MY SON GROWS UP, AND I BELIEVE THE LEGACY OF OUR PRESIDENT IS GOING TO BE WHAT IT IS, I DON’T WANT HIM TO SAY, “HEY DAD, WHY DID YOU GO WHEN YOU KNEW THE RIGHT THING WAS TO NOT GO?”’
Fans also chimed in. One reminded viewers that not a single county in Massachusetts, home of the New England Patriots, voted for Trump in the 2016 election. Other fans attributed that to the shared values of inclusion and diversity, values that were missing from the Republican nominee who won the election.
‘WHAT WAS HAPPENING WAS OTHER THINGS WERE WINNING, LIKE LYING, GROPING WOMEN, BEING MEAN AND GETTING AWAY WITH IT, WAS WINNING.’
Perhaps the decision made by those Patriots and the fans’ reasoning for supporting that decision was best summed up by one fan who said:
‘FOR ME IT’S NOT POLITICAL, IT’S MORAL.’
Standing up for what is right, even in the face of losing fans and endorsement deals, was the most moral decision for these NFL football players, and their decision made their long-standing fans very proud.
See the full video below:
Featured image screenshot via YouTube