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National Wellness Insight on the NFL and Colin Kaepernick Controversy

September 22, 2016

Matthew Vasey MD


Department of Emergency Medicine, Tampa General Hospital | Teamhealth, an affiliate of University of South Florida

Disclosure: Opinions reflect neither employer nor affiliated institutions, soley those of the author.



What began as an idea, the United States of America has since encountered an immeasurable number of complex challenges which continue to the present day. What has set America apart from the empires of past and nations of today is the ability to evolve and resolve conflicts through democracy grounded by individual liberty in the pursuit of a virtuous direction. Albeit a seedling media outlet with micro-resonance, the New York Journal of Style and Medicine is designed to cover topics of health and entertainment. The complex conversation taking place in the National Football League as it relates to overall wellness of the nation falls within our realm if for no reason beyond our inalienable right to freedom of speech.

We propose both Colin Kaepernick and those critical of him are correct. How can this be? As with all topics there exist two prisms through which an issue can be analyzed. In academic terms one must consider the debate at hand through the prism of both probability and possibility. Colin Kaepernick is correct that it is possible to encounter injustice in America. Those critical of him are correct that the probability is such that America is a just nation. It is one's personal life experience that drives them instinctually towards one prism or the other in their unique interpretation of each controversial topic they encounter. Fighting modern impulse society headwinds for primitive instinctual brain development, it is through higher thought conceived from the brain's cerebral cortex that we as humans can perceive an alternate prism of perception.

We invite the nation and players in the NFL to continue with a dialogue respective of both perspective prisms because it is only through mutual respect that solutions of justice could be reached by the court of public opinion.

We offer the following in attempt to propose controversial perspectives to both players in the NFL critical of the United States and those country men and women critical of those players critical in the NFL. What if the probability is such that the NFL has an overwhelmingly negative effect on the development of American youth through distracted life goals given such a low likelihood of becoming an NFL athlete? What if the American dream has created an overwhelmingly inverse nightmare for the alienated-American or non-American world?

It is not our hope to only offer insight, but also a possible respectful solution for consideration. The NFL could create an off-the-field "Action" program through which players may utilize their celebrity platform and monetary wealth to move forward the issue to which they are most passionate advertised through an officially sanctioned 'NFL Action' patch for available use on-the-field. The national audience critical of opinion but respectful of right can be supportive through the transition. Hope being, to restore the national symbol through which the NFL has acheived such success.

Respective of the fact freedom of speech is not freedom of consequence, should no diplomatic solution be reached where both sides lend an element of compromise, the controversial primitive dichotomy of probability and possibility will continue with instinctual fury yielding only further injustice. While not probable, it is possible the NFL as we know it could fail. That said, the very idea of America could possibly fail if the nation steers away from the ability to resolve conflicts through democracy grounded by individual liberty in the pursuit of a virtuous direction.






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