Every year on Veteran’s Day we have all seen the NFL’s contribution through commercials, donations, and special celebrations honoring service members but we have never considered the veterans’ thoughts on all this.
Jon Davis, a Sergeant of Marines was kind of enough to provide his perspective to Quora. In his lengthy answer, it was apparent that Davis was torn. First Davis says, “On the one hand I really have to thank the NFL for being one of the only large organizations to really put the military high up in their priority list. They really do a large part in reminding everyone on the outside that these people never went away and there needs to be some consideration given to them.”
But Davis also continues to say, “What I really hate is when players try to do this, too, by comparing themselves to “soldiers” fighting in a “war” or “battle” (P.S. Justin Bieber does this too). Yeah, you’re aggressive, but aside from that there really are no direct comparisons between a member of the NFL and a member of the military. If you are successful, your college or hometown will build a statue for you, a practice few in the military have enjoyed since about the time professional sports became mainstream. You are part of an elite group which almost no one in the general population could ever hope to be a part of because you enjoy a rather miraculous and inequitable doling out of specific talents.”
Essentially, what Davis is trying to say is that he appreciates the effort by the NFL to recognize the veterans, but the NFL could do a much better job in depicting what the veterans are going through, and not just associating the military with the NFL brand of tough and aggressive. Davis also thinks the NFL could send actual players to visit troops in Afghanistan like celebrities have done, instead of just general video messages.
I think Davis makes a great point that many of us among the general public haven’t really put much thought into. Would you like to see the NFL doing more in support of the veterans?