Photo Courtesy: YouTube
New York Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon has been taking a knee during the National Anthem since early into the NFL Season and on Thanksgiving Day he continued that trend and was the lone player not standing just before a game with the Washington Redskins.
Vernon recently told Newsday that he would continue kneeling because of “social injustice on African-Americans and police brutality.”
It is ironic that Vernon has given no specifics while he is likely someone that would know all to well the struggles and dangers of what police officers go through and we suspect he also knows that he is kneeling for a lie. A lie that has been told for years, that there is institutional racism within law enforcement.
He would likely know this because Vernon’s father recently retired as a 25 year veteran of the Miami Police Department.
Vernon’s father patrolled the famous Miami South Beach section for years and Vernon himself told Fox Sports that when he got older, he became concerned that his father could be killed in the line of duty.
“You just think about your parents going off to a regular job and you don’t think about the possibilities that could happen, like never seeing them again off of a routine traffic stop,” Vernon said. “I’m just fortunate that he was able to do his time and be able to retire.”
In a sense, I’ve given these overpaid, whining athletes a pass because they are a victim of stupid. They listen to quick soundbites from a media that has an agenda to paint cops as racist and they buy it.
The truth is in the data and yes, what Vernon’s own father witnessed each and every day. Law enforcement responding to violent neighborhoods, attempting to stop violent felons and the last thing on the mind of cops is race.
In fact, research tells us that in almost 90% of the officer involved shootings, police are called to the area by citizens via 911 calls and given descriptions by those citizens of the suspects. That is hardly racial profiling but then again Vernon knows that.
Olivier Vernon got the privilege to do what the majority of young black males don’t get to do. He grew up with a loving mother and father in the home. Both of his parents had successful careers, raised their kids in a great home and supported them at every step.
Vernon himself said that seeing his parents at his games were some of the highlights of his life.
Why do I mention this? Because there is true disparity within African Americans. In comparison, more African Americans are subject to poverty, unemployment and being hyper-victimized by criminals than other races.
73% of black children today grow up without a father and African American men commit over half of the homicides in this country, making blacks the victim of homicide 7881 times in 2016 alone.
Vernon has plenty to be upset about but law enforcement should not be on the radar but that is the sick joke of all of this. True disparity is being ignored at the price of the men and women in law enforcement.
Vernon still has time. He has a huge platform and for all accounts, he is a decent person, that just so happens to be very disrespectful and wrong on this issue.
Robert Johnson is a 20 year veteran law enforcement officer currently working at a large metropolitan agency. His assignments have included narcotics, gangs and training. He joined Law Officer in 2017 as an Associate Editor.