Open letter to Duane Brown. Multi-Millionaire National Football League
Player for the Houston Texans:
You do not know me. I am just a “blue collar” worker who
struggles from payday to payday. I grew up poor with regards to money. But, I
certainly knew what love was. My family was comprised of kids who grew up
picking cotton before and after school in rural Angelina County, Texas. They
were literally, “dirt poor”.
Somehow, someway, my mama worked hard, day and night. She came to Houston
to carve out a successful career with a National Company and worked her way up
to being in charge of all southeast Texas and western Louisiana. Not too shabby
for a girl from a farmhouse, with just a High School Education.
In all of those hard times, she somehow raised a very difficult kid. Nowadays,
some label kids like him as “Special Needs”. Back then, times were
hard. We spent a lot of time back and forth from Houston and Angelina County. I
learned about God, Church, the Bible. We sang “Amazing Grace” to the
tune of an old wooden, off key piano in the far corner of the little wood frame
chapel. There, I also learned about right and wrong.
At an early age, I knew what I was going to be – a firefighter and a cop.
I have done both, fairly successful, at that. I have walked through fire in a
burning home/building, coming out alive. I have walked under fire from those
who chose to take me on…and I survived. Wounded, bleeding… but I survived. I
went home. They did not.
Many a funeral for officers and firefighters have I attended. As I worked
my way up the “chain of command” I have had the duty of delivering
our Nations flag, you know, the one you disrespected, to grieving widows and
their children. I have heard the echoes of “Amazing Grace” from the
bagpipes; TAPS from the Bugler; The roar of the 21 Gun Salute firing into the
freezing cold winter air – Sounds which, you and others, probably know nothing
None of these things, do I believe, you or the others who choose to be so
disrespectful towards our Nations flag and anthem, comprehend. I cannot sit
idly by and not say, without absolute conviction, “You are wrong for what
you’re doing.” Period.
The weight of the badge I, and so many others wear, far outweighs all the
weight you can bench press and then some. The responsibility which we carry is
immeasurable. In less than a second of time, we decide life, death, who lives,
who dies. We decide to readily give our life so another might live. All the
while, you stand on the sidelines of a game, making millions of dollars and
drinking Gatorade, trying to figure out your next “play” in a
Yet, you and others somehow feel, you are “entitled” to exercise
your “right” to be disrespectful to the very things which gave you
such a “Right” in the first place. Try that s#&*@ in some other
countries and see what happens to you. This country is NOT as pathetic, bad or
wounded as you try and make it out to be.
Much blood, sweat and tears have fallen for our Freedom, protecting our Freedom
and even because of our Freedom. How dare you and others of the NFL and other
sports “stars” slap those very things in the face with such pathetic
symbols of your own hatred and bigotry.
I will not continue to chastise you and those who walk the same wretched
path as you do. I will instead, turn back to the time my mama and grandmamma
would take me to that old, rickety, wooden church in rural Angelina County and
sincerely pray for you. I pray God somehow reaches you and those with you to
show you a higher path to walk, rather than the lowly road you’ve chosen.
I will kneel, not in disrespect, but in humble love of my fellow man. And,
as the words of Amazing Grace sound in my heart, I pray its meaning and power
cover you and show you we are all in this together. None of us should stand
alone and none of us should let the other fall alone…
In closing…my challenge to Kaepernick, Brown and those choosing to do
what you’ve done…stand up with us, not against us. Much like the “team”
you “play” on….when one player decides to not do what the team is
doing…the whole team loses. Your Country is the same. We must learn to work
together in order to walk together. Inciting bigotry with more bigotry is a
losing battle none of us can afford.