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I am a black man, and I love watching football. As a writer, and a fan, the game captivates my senses to the point that, similar to many fans, it’s more than just a game. I’m man enough to admit there is an emotional aspect that pulls and tugs at my emotional strings and draws me into its grasp. Sheer excitement and electricity fill the air and the crowds roar over a game-changing play. The sport isn’t everything, but then, it IS everything, if only temporarily.

These moments create a special phenomena where grown men achieve a level of euphoria often reserved for a child that can no longer wait to open presents on Christmas morning. It is in these moments that nothing else matters, except that feeling of pride and joy brewing inside, and there’s not a thing or anybody that can take that thrill away—or so we thought.

This last season, a dark cloud cast a shadow over the NFL and complicated the experience for many. I witnessed players take a knee this season in support of Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest of social injustice against African Americans and people of color. I witnessed the outcry…

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