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Sep 2016
knew a man who threw a ball
champion Reds
back in the day
he refused the anthem
for religious reasons
staying in the tunnel
till it was over
and no one ever knew

there’s a man now who throws a ball
refusing to stand for the anthem
not about religious rights
he stands on civil protest
citing police brutality
and social injustice
a simple nonviolent act
the courage to face public’s outcry
a willingness to accept
commercial monetary ramifications
placing heart above wallet

o, the uproar
the unmitigated gall
this spoiled rich athlete
should be grateful
for 19 million reasons
he should take the money and run
turning a blind eye
to the suffering of others
his allegiance has been
bought and paid for
how dare he think for himself
if he’s written any books
we should burn them
or abduct 300 of his girls

patriotism dictates
that he stand heartfeltedly
but conscience tells him otherwise
some say he should stay hidden
locked up in the locker room
as if Sister Rosa’s protest
would have been noticed
in the back of the bus

my parents came to this country
for a better life
for freedom and opportunity
I stand for the anthem
and the country it anthemises
I stand for the police
and the good works they do
but I also stand
for the right of others
to choose not to
after all
it’s not like police brutality
or social injustice
do not exist

let it all play out
see where it goes
after the outrage passes
as it always does
will his message be remembered?
was it ever even heard?
was it dismissed for patriotism’s sake?
he says he’ll sit until he sees some changes
I think he’ll have a long wait
till then, let’s go burn some books
or throw some tea in a harbor
© 09/11/2016
Written by
Del Maximo
437
   Keith Wilson
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