“How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”
Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor
This quote from one of the founder of the art of mediation understood well that every action or choice we make comes with it consequences. These consequences are rarely in our control and usually cannot be successfully litigated against because they are created through our actions.
Two well known NFL players are currently living this reality but they remain in denial. Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid were two of the first players who chose to kneel during the performance of the National Anthem as a sign of protest against police brutality and social injustice. Their decision was not welcomed or agreed with by most of the fans and it is the fans that pay the salaries of the NFL players. Through multiple surveys, it has been determined that very few fan had a problem with the decision to protest but many questioned the appropriateness of the venue and the timing as both distracted from the reverence toward what the anthem stands for; all the National Heroes who died for the message sung about in the anthem. The fans also had a problem with the fact that once the players were asked not to protest in this manner, some continued the weekly action.
Now, nearly two years since the start of this “protest”, both men are unemployed and both are blaming the owners of the NFL teams for colluding to not hire them. Speaking as a business owner and a business man who has made a living hires talented people; we are free to make choices as well. When a hiring decision is made it is based on way more than just the talent and skills of the candidate. Their participation in the team’s cohesion must also be considered. If given the choice between hiring a person proven to cause disruptions or an unknown but suspected rule follower of equal talent, I will lean toward rule following team player every time. Keeping a team focused is hard enough without the added drama an instigator brings to the “office”.
So gentlemen, quit being surprised that no team wants to hire you. You, like all of us, have baggage that is on display to every hiring manager. Some of this baggage was created through your actions and you have no one to blame but yourselves. If your protest meant so much to you, then be proud of what you did and courageously live with the consequences. Our veterans, police officers and their families must live with their choices; some even gave their life for the choices they made. Some of their choices allow you the very rights that grants you the ability to follow your path so I ask that you do so with the same honor they give to their choices.
If this is my last post, I want all to know there was only one purpose for all that I have written; to have made a positive difference in the lives of others.
Anthony “Tony” Boquet, the author of “The Bloodline of Wisdom, The Awakening of a Modern Solutionary”