August 31, 2016

Quick Takes (v11): You Can't Have it All

Quick Takes
Myke Tavarres, an unsigned rookie linebacker trying to make the roster for the Philadelphia Eagles, announced Monday that he would join Colin Kaepernick in protesting racism and oppression in America by sitting during the national anthem at his next football game.

In a conversation with ESPN, he noted
Oh, I thought about it. Believe me, I definitely thought about it. And usually I'm front and center on the line with the rest of the guys, and that's since pre-K all the way up. Saturday's game, I stepped back, I was in the background and it didn't feel right to me at all, and so I will be taking a stand -- or sitting down -- for the fourth game.
We've got an issue in this country in this day and age, and I feel like somebody needs to step up and we all need to step up. We've got that right. There's just a lot going on that people don't want to talk about, and I feel like us as athletes, we're looked at as role models. and I feel like with Colin Kaepernick, he's doing a great job for standing up in what he believes in, and most people may not like that, but that's his opinion, he's entitled to it, and I respect him for doing it.
 In this situation, I've really got nothing to lose. I'm a rookie free agent, haven't signed any major contract, so there's not a lot of money on the line, I don't have any big endorsement deals on the line. Really what's at stake is my pride and what kind of man would I be and what kind of African-American would I be if I didn't stand my ground on this issue we have today?
Will there be backlash? Probably. I don't think anyone has bought my jersey, so I don't know if it's going to be burned, but it's a major issue and I'm definitely going to stand my ground for this one.
Definitely standing his ground, that is, until he had a talk with his agent after the ESPN interview hit the airwaves.  For we have learned that Tavarres plans to stand, and likely sing his heart out for the cameras, at Thursday's game.

Corey Williams, his agent, agreed that he advised his client to change his position.
Myke's goal is and will always be to make the Eagles' 53-man roster and help the team win a Super Bowl.
Here's the statement released by his agent.
I want to apologize for the distraction I've become for all of Eagle Nation. I feel passionate about racial issues going on in our country and I thought that sitting during the National Anthem would bring more awareness to the issue and encourage more constructive discussion to find solutions, but I feel I only made things worse. I want to make change in this world but sitting down during the national anthem just isn't the best way to do it. With that being said, I do plan on finding a better way. I'm young and I still have a lot to learn about saying and doing the right thing. For now, I will stay focused on football, but I will definitely look for opportunities to do what I can to prevent injustices. I am so blessed to be an American and I just feel a responsibility to do what I can to make thing better.
Make things better by sitting down and shutting up?

What that really means is, Myke Tavarres was given a choice: you can apologize for having an opinion, and try and have a career, with an agent that supports you, or you can go stand on your soapbox (or sit on it, as the case may be) and try to change the world.

And it appears it was made clear to the rookie that the best time to do the latter is when you're older. Out of football. When you're not worried about having endorsements. Or an agent. When you've exhausted your physical prowess and don't have anything else to offer the NFL, you go be a stand up guy, and have your pride.

Because trying to have it all: an agent, and a career, and an opinion, and the courage of your convictions? Yeah, that's not gonna work.