One NFL Player Delivered The Smartest Take On The Confederate Flag
As is the case with most social issues, the shooting in Charleston and the subsequent discussion regarding the visibility of the Confederate flag permeated the sports world.
So, it's no surprise different figures in sports have begun to provide their takes, and Benjamin Watson's certainly stands out.
Speaking via a post on his Facebook page, the New Orleans Saints tight end offered a nuanced, measured and sincere collection of thoughts that such important topics sorely need but rarely receive.
Yesterday morning, on the day South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley voiced her intent to take down the Confederate flag from South Carolina's state capital, Watson made sure to discuss the motives for such a move.
The NFL player said,
It should not take the brutal, senseless killings of innocent black Americans in a church by a young, white man, to ensure the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the State House grounds where it has flown in proud defiance of the civil rights movement since the 1960s. If the flag wasn't problematic before this heinous crime it should not be problematic now, and to hastily remove it in response to this slaughter, although a sympathetic (and economic) gesture, does not address the heart of the matter.
Watson mentioned flying the flag is not "inherently wrong," and he argued some people see the stars and bars of the flag as a celebration of heritage.
But he also mentioned the offense it can cause to fellow countrymen and the importance for the state to consider this aspect when deciding whether the flag should continue to be flown.
If we remove the Confederate flag from the State Capitol for any reason other than a change in the hearts of South Carolinians, we may as well leave it be. This is not the time for political statements and worrying about national perception. But if we, like my friend Frank, finally listen to the cries and concerns of those we say we care about, soften our hearts, and choose to lay our liberties aside to assuage the pain of our brothers, the only suitable option would be a unanimous decision to remove the flag from the public grounds at the Palmetto State Capitol.
You can read Watson's entire stance on his Facebook page.