I didn't sell the Dolphins out....
...The Dolphins sold ME out!!!
Anyone who knows me, or that has been reading this blog for some time knows that I have been an aqua and orange bleeding Miami Dolphins fan for 30+ years. They also know that I have been a staunch believer of the philosophy that once you pick a team, you are stuck with them, regardless of what happens. But, things change. I am no longer a Dolphins fan. I've switched my loyalty to the Carolina Panthers. And, before you go calling me a sellout and bandwagoner, (two things I can't stand) I didn't just choose Carolina because they are doing very good these days. I switched to them because ever since 2003, when I lived in Charlotte, the Panthers have become my #2 team, meaning that I would root for them against anybody, unless it was Miami. I've been to more Panthers games than any other team OTHER than Miami. Well, now, they are my #1 team, and Miami is down with the Jets and Patriots.
Now, let me explain...As I mentioned in my previous post about standing during the National Anthem, this isn't just about whether or not someone chooses to sit or stand. Its not about freedom of speech either. You can tell me all day long that they have the freedom to do whatever they want, and this is true. They can, but they need to do it on their own time. When they are on the field, it is OUR time. They are the ones who are on the clock when they are in that stadium. We are their CUSTOMERS, and we paid lots of our hard earned money to watch you play football. If you want to be a political activist, quit the team, and go be a community organizer. Although I seriously doubt they would like the pay cut. If you, me, or anyone else got in someone's face about politics while on the job, we would be fired and rightfully so.
So, this becomes a respect issue. More importantly, it becomes an issue of the lack of respect the Dolphins players, Foster, Thomas, Stills, and Jenkins have for the fans (customers.) Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross could have ended this garbage, and I'd still be a fan. Instead, he came out in support, saying that it was their right to protest. No, Stephen. Its their right to DO THEIR JOB! These protests are not only disrespectful to the fans, the people who lost their lives on 9/11, and the military personnel who fought for their right to freedom of speech, its also disrespectful to YOU, Mr. Ross. You, and the TEAM! Instead of sports media talking about how well the Dolphins performed against a Super Bowl contender, all the stories were about those 4 douchebags and their protest. This kind of crap hurts the team, and they deserved to lose because of it.
|Behind a MARINE, guys! Seriously! Jerks.|
And, this gets worse too. I then saw an interview with Foster asking why its ok to kneel when praying to God but not during the National Anthem. Can you say BACKPEDAL? That was an about face worthy of a crooked politician lying under oath after saying something completely different prior! He won't even stand up and defend his position! This seems like a a way to walk it back.
But, despite all this, I was on the fence. Not sure what to do. I was wearing my Dolphins hat today, and I felt ashamed to have it on...especially when I passed a guy wearing a veteran's hat. But, what sealed the deal for me was Ross's comments. The Dolphins organization has ZERO respect for their fans. (customers) And, because of that, I have zero respect for them. I won't be making a team change again. I'm pissed that I had to do it in the first place, but, it is what it is.
One thing is for sure, I won't have to worry about anyone from the Panthers pulling this stunt. Owner, Jerry Richardson (a class act) won't stand for it, nor will Coach Ron Rivera or Cam Newton. Not to mention, the Panthers organization cares about their fans.
So, there it is. I mainly wrote this piece so that I could just paste a link when someone starts giving me crap for switching teams, or for being against freedom of speech; which I'm not.. This was not an easy decision for me at all, but, I would like to thank YOU, Stephen Ross for making it for me.
Also, its nice to be connected to a Shula again! GO PANTHERS!