A handful NFL players have been kneeling during the National Anthem, stringing together one of the most disrespectful pre-seasons in NFL history. Despite losing fans and money to boycotts, the NFL persists to allow the unpatriotic protest to continue. The NFL used to ban touchdown celebrations, which was a form of expression, but the league can’t figure out how to teach it’s boys to act like men.
There are hurricanes and other real world issues going on and yet some of the players are still being so disrespectful to the country that gave them the opportunity to become millionaires playing a little boys game.
While we’re dealing with that nonsense, there’s this other NFL player who might be doing the complete opposite. There are players in our beloved NFL who might be extremely thankful for the chance to live their dream and cash checks bigger than any of us can count up to (it’s physically impossible for you to count to a million by ones). This is where we meet Rishard Matthews.
Matthews played sports with his brother Christopher Ruiz when they were kids. His brother began spending more time in ROTC programs and joined the Marines. Matthews went on to join the NFL as a wide receiver. They both chose a difficult and strenuous path, but while Rishard was living his freedoms- his brother Christopher was fighting for them. Christopher Ruiz served the Marines for ten years and was part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
He was scheduled to come home but passed away just three weeks before the set date to return. That was back in 2015.
It was a horrible surprise that left behind a wife and three children. Rishard Matthews has honorably taken care of his brother’s family to make sure they’re always doing well.
Rishard Matthews was just met with one of the most humbling and emotional moments that may have ever happened to him. Just before a preseason game, he was greeted by a member of the military. This person came to Matthews to deliver a gift. It was a flag flown in Afghanistan to honor Christopher Ruiz for his service and dedication to fighting for America and giving his life to the Marines.
It was emotional, just like it should be.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) August 27, 2017
According to TitansOnline.com, Ruiz died in 2015 after more than 10 years of service in the Marines as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He died just three weeks before he was scheduled to come home.
“When he left, you just thought he was always coming back,” Mathews said. “My whole family, we all thought he would be coming back. And then you get that call that he’s not coming back.”
Ruiz left behind his wife and three kids, and Matthews promised to do everything he can to ensure his brother’s family is taken care of and supported.
“In my eyes, they make so many movies on people who are heroes,” Matthews said. “And there are people out there fighting for our freedom. There’s a lot of people who are gone and didn’t come back, and unfortunately (Christopher) is one of them. He is our family’s hero.”
Although the Titans lost their preseason game Sunday to the Chicago Bears, Matthews got a big surprise when he met with Master Sgt. Trey Clark just before the game.
Clark presented him with an American flag that was flown in Afghanistan during the war and with a plaque honoring his brother.
Words couldn’t express what Matthews may have been thinking during the presentation of the American flag. Only the look on his face could tell what was truly going on in his head. His long gone brother was just honored by the American military. His brother was a true hero and he couldn’t believe his hero brother wasn’t coming back.
One must wonder what Matthews thought about during the game, his rides home, his life after football. Will this be an inspiration for Matthews to have the best season of his career? What does he think about the protest of the American flag and the National Anthem? Will Rishard Matthews always stand for the National Anthem?
Freedom gives us the ability to chose our own destiny. Will Matthews stand and honor his brother, or will he honor no one? We all have the freedom of choice, but there’s also the ability to show respect to our freedom.
On top of all the moral dilemma’s, athletes have to make the right choice. Look what happened to Colin Kaepernick? He can’t find a job, even though he’s better than a few of the second and third string quarterbacks. Coaches don’t want a second tier player who comes with baggage. Two years of mediocre stats and baggage aren’t worth the millions that he might want from a team.
Stand like a proud American. Be happy you live in America. Be glad you’re an athlete earning millions for playing a game.
People who sit for the National Anthem are disrespectful to the country. People have lost their lives fighting for freedom, but we need to show some respect to the country and the people who fought for us.
If people want to protest the flag, then do it on their own time. Stop making a spectacle of it during sporting events.
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