An Open Letter to Joey Odoms

Dear Mr. Odoms,

Before saying anything in regard to your resignation, I’d first like to thank you sincerely, from the bottom of my heart, for your service to our country. As a military veteran, you deserve both my full attention and utmost respect. You have put your life at risk for our country, to preserve the freedoms of people like me to freely speak our minds. We may remain in disagreement after I’ve offered my point of view, but I refuse to show you any disrespect.

With sadness I read the letter in which you resigned from your position as the performer of our national anthem before Baltimore Ravens football games. In a second comment posted on social media, you also wrote, “Fans who attack players for protesting, (a right in which I fought to defend) but are simply not interested in understanding why, is the reason I am resigning.”

Assuming that I am one of the fans you mention (given that I have written several articles at The Resurgent about this very subject) I would like to know precisely what you think people such as myself are not interested in understanding about this ongoing controversy. What is it that you think I don’t know?

Perhaps it will be easier to answer my question if I tell you what I think I know — the primary narrative of the Black Lives Matter movement, which is that white police officers murder unarmed, innocent young black men with impunity and alarming regularity, is simply and verifiably not true.

Don’t simply take my word for it — hear what people like Larry Elder have said about the false narrative ripping our country apart at the seams.

Please, find out the truth for yourself.

As our great former President Ronald Reagan once said — trust, but verify.

Everyone has the right to peacefully protest against injustice. However, the Black Lives Matter movement actually protest against the justice system, and law and order. I cannot personally speak for every fan, but my complaint isn’t specifically about players kneeling to protest. It’s that the protests are based on lies.

I’m also objecting to the fact that people who are apparently horribly misinformed themselves have accused people like me of being uninformed. The problem isn’t the idea of a football player speaking his mind, but when he’s doing it when he should be showing respect for your efforts, and your sacrifices. After all, you served in the military. I did not. Certainly, this isn’t about “me.”

I’ve been led to believe the protests are not about our national anthem, that song you are blessed with enough talent to be paid for leading thousands of people, and that the protests are not meant as disrespect for our military veterans. While the protests are allegedly about raising awareness for social justice causes, that isn’t true, either. The real purpose of BLM seems to be to permanently divide America along racial lines.

Please believe that I have nothing but respect for the fact that you’re willing to put your principles before your paycheck — you aren’t selling out your beliefs for a few bucks. You sincerely believe you’re doing what you believe in your heart is true. I understand completely.

Unfortunately, I’m convinced that you’re being manipulated by the same sort of people who routinely assassinate the character of brave, patriotic Americans like Larry Elder, for telling the truth about radical liberal ideologues like the leadership of Black Lives Matter.

It saddens me that Mr. Elder must endure such hateful, cruel, and vicious personal attacks for daring to speak the truth about the social justice warrior faction of modern society, and I envy his talent for handling his critics with such grace and dignity. I only wish I were as tolerant of my critics.

If a disproportionate number of innocent young black men were truly in mortal, constant danger from the police, please believe that I would be marching in the streets right next to BLM. But if the statistics offered by Mr. Elder are true — and they certainly appear to be accurate — then the entire premise of the movement is based on malicious, insidious lies that have put the lives of decent men and women who serve our community at much greater risk.

Ironically, both average fans of the game and professional agitators like Shaun King are reaching an unholy consensus to boycott the NFL, which will have the most devastating impact on people the ushers, concession workers, and others who aren’t contractually owed millions of dollars whether fans show up for games or not. You know, people like us…the “little” people.

A fan boycott of the NFL won’t hurt well-compensated professional athletes like Joe Flacco or Terrell Suggs. I’d be surprised to hear that billionaires like Jerry Jones will suffer any financial hardship for showboating, because television contracts are guaranteed money.

Boycotts only hurt everybody else. Eventually the athletes might find the lucrative endorsement deals could disappear over time, but they won’t be feeling any major financial pains, either. The hot dog and Coke vendors will suffer the worst, though. And so will people like Susan Moedinger and her husband, owners of Steel City Sports retail store.

These people are the innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire, stuck in the middle of a senseless controversy based on gross misrepresentations of truth, and deliberate, despicable lies. As Mrs. Moedinger so eloquently points out,

The NFL is not going to be hurt. Nike is not going to be hurt. Nobody’s gonna be hurt in this; they’re too big. But it could hurt me.

Please keep in mind, the fan reactions to these protests are not really about suppressing freedom of speech. People like me are upset and angry about the perceived disrespect being shown toward you, our countryas well as every other current and former member of our military. We all know someone or have family who literally fought, bled, and died for our freedom, and we feel they deserve to be treated with the highest respect. Many of us have also never forgiven or forgotten the disgraceful and abusive treatment shown by “peace activists” toward our soldiers returning from Vietnam.

Also please remember that only last year, the NFL reminded us that players can’t simply do as they please. When the Cowboys announced they wanted to wear a sticker on their helmet to honor the five Dallas police officers murdered during a Black Lives Matter protest that turned violent, the league denied the team permission — where was the uproar about the players “freedom of speech” then? So it seems the NFL can restrict the exercise of free speech by their employees…at least, when it suits their purposes.

Why should kneeling to honor a lie be allowed, when the ultimate sacrifice by a brave police officer murdered in the line of duty can’t even be acknowledged with a small helmet sticker?

And why are we supposed to feel any sympathy for a man who stupidly walked away from his job and a contractual obligation that would have paid him almost $100 million dollars over five more years, even if he had to sit on the bench? Colin Kaepernick wasn’t kneeling in protest when he was the Super Bowl starting quarterback. His farce of a “protest” started only after he started collecting splinters on the bench, as nothing but a desperate cry for attention from a classic narcissist. After all, how seriously should we take a multi-millionaire screaming for “equality” but who didn’t even vote on Election Day?

Kaepernick laughably told reporters that he didn’t vote because it would have been hypocritical of him, when not voting was the real hypocrisy. He might have meant to say it would have been illegal for him to vote, because he wasn’t even registered, and never has been, but that would have exposed his foolishness. In my never-humble-enough opinion, you’ve been conned, by professional con artists.

These petty and selfish acts disrespect YOUR sacrifices. Please, Mr. Odoms, help me understand any errors in my logic. If my facts are wrong, I want to be the first person to admit it, and then I will apologize profusely. On the other hand, if the statistics cited by Mr. Elder are really true, only 4 percent of young black homicide victims are killed for questionable reasons by white police officers.

Conversely, more than 70 percent of young black homicide victims are murdered by black criminals. Why is BLM so selective about what concerns them? Don’t all black lives matter, or do only the ones they can manufacture an angle to blame on race? Actually, I already know the answer to that question from the BLM perspective — my life doesn’t matter.

In fact, if I dare say that “all lives matter” to include my family and the police, I’ve allegedly become an accidental racist. The people behind Black Lives Matter want us to hate each other, but the fact that you are black and I am white, nor the fact that you can sing and I can’t, is no reason we can’t be friends.

If people are willing to pay you to sing the national anthem, you must have an amazing voice.  Because you served our country, I can only assume that you are equally if not more patriotic than me.  If you can show that “my” facts are incorrect, I’m willing to humble myself, apologize, and then join you in protest.

But I won’t take a knee for a lie.


A College Football (and former NFL) Fan