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An eventful September is about to conclude with much anticipation for October, especially in the sports world. Prime college football matchups, MLB playoffs and the NBA regular season begins.

This week’s DHD has some sports topics as well as other current issues to address. Let’s get to it!

  1. We need a leader

I begin with a difficult subject. Last weekend, the National Football League experienced a nationwide spectacle as more than 200 players were reported kneeling while the National Anthem was performed during NFL games.

There’s a lot of aspects and issues involved in these demonstrations, and it is hard to find a complete solution. I don’t even know if any tangible solutions have been offered by someone who represents the protesters. I hear that there needs to be discussions; people from different sides need to sit down and talk with each other.

Discussions would be a start. I remember pointing out Sen. James Lankford’s proposal of people of different races sharing a meal together. This sounds like a constructive plan to me.

Something I am praying for is a respected leader to come on the scene. This has to be a person whom all sides respect. Right now, I have no idea who this person is. If you name somebody who is a leader in any capacity, you will find people who disagree with them.

For now, I’m at a loss, but I am convinced that until this well-liked, persuasive person comes on the scene with solid solutions, football players will keep kneeling, and offended observers will keep posting disgruntlements on social media.

  1. Kneeling update

It is now 10 a.m., Friday morning, Sept. 29. I wrote DHD topic #1 late Thursday night, and I thought about deleting it and starting over. However, I decided to share some vulnerability with you, and I kept the first topic in place.

I said I was praying for a leader, and I did earlier this morning. My prayer hasn’t been completely answered because such a person hasn’t been identified, and there’s still much conflict and disunity in our country. However, I read an article from the New York Daily News that reported a meeting among NFL leadership occurred earlier this week. Perhaps anthem kneeling may start to dwindle.

The meeting included team owners and eight players, along with other NFL front office reps. The best thing I got from the article was a quote from New York Giants’ Jonathan Casillas when asked about the league and owners providing a forum to discuss the issues at hand, including President Trump’s social media remark that featured a derogatory comment about NFL players:

“I feel like we should be taking advantage of (the forum) and do something as a unit and as a league to not only show that the protest wasn’t just to go against Trump and it wasn’t about disrespecting the flag, but it was actually about the racial injustices and the problems inside of our country that consistently have happened,” Casillas said. The Giants’ veteran linebacker was realistic when asked about concerns of losing money to fans who are turning their backs on the league. “At the end of the day we’re talking about losing money. Nobody likes losing money, especially not any of these owners,” Casillas said.

A leader may not be identified, but I consider the outcome of this meeting to be a grain of sand from the beach of progress.

  1. Thunder Melo and other NBA news

From the NFL to the NBA. It’s getting exciting folks! All the wild offseason transactions lead up to one of the most anticipated professional basketball seasons ever. And yes, the Oklahoma City Thunder are right in the thick of all the hoopla.

By the way, in regards to the previous two topics, I was happy to hear NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announce he is expecting NBA players to stand during the national anthem at games.

So, yes, Carmelo Anthony is now with the Thunder. Remember last week when I was commenting about Kevin Durant dishing garbage about his former team? I’m starting to think the former “face” of the Thunder for eight seasons may become a removed blemish.

The team that is now assembled has a chance to cause fans to forget all those exciting games of yesteryear. Durant is still an amazing player, currently on the most dominating team in the league, but Thunder fans are experiencing a new day with a new “Big 3.”

Anthony being traded to the Thunder last Saturday forced many to forget college football was going on. It was that shocking of a news item, especially in football-frenzy Oklahoma.

Thunder fans are sad to see Enes Kanter go, especially because of the loyalty and community support he demonstrated. Since the Thunder start the regular season hosting the New York Knicks, Oct. 19, that game should feature roaring appreciation when Kanter’s name is announced.

I confess, I have some skepticism about Melo being with the Thunder. Like everybody, I am curious about chemistry, but Paul George and Russell Westbrook, along with Melo, are seasoned veterans who seem to understand how things work now in the NBA. The landscape has changed with Golden State constructing its monster squad that still appears unstoppable, barring major injuries.

Though George and Anthony were traded to the Thunder, they said they are excited to play for OKC. Of course, Anthony had to approve his trade, so that should calm some chemistry concerns.

Games start soon, so we may get some answers in the next couple of weeks.

  1. Pole positioning produces plenty of praying

See You At The Pole happened this week. The Baptist Messenger will feature a story next week about what went on in Oklahoma at the many schools across the state. We heard from an abundance of church youth leaders who were involved in the national prayer observance. The Messenger wasn’t able to feature all of the photos we received, but we got quite a few published.

I pray God was honored and lives were impacted, not only here in Oklahoma but around the world.

  1. Scalise speaks of God in his return to the House

Baptist Press reports of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana returning to Congress Sept. 28 after he was shot June 14 by a lone gunman at a baseball practice.

The BP story said Scalise spoke from the floor that he is a walking miracle, and his ability to return “starts with God.”

I was encouraged with how candid the congressman spoke of his prayers during the attack and how emphatic he was about the power of prayer.

  1. Movie about McQueen

Last night, the sole showing of a faith-based movie Steve McQueen: American Icon appeared in theaters nationwide. Unfortunately, I did not go see it, but I would be interested if another opportunity arises, either on DVD or re-released in theaters.

I’ve read two reviews about the movie. One was from our WordSlingers movie critic Michael Foust who wrote “Steve McQueen: American Icon is Ecclesiastes on the big screen: A man obtains fame and fortune and then reaches the end of his life and proclaims: All is vanity.” You can read it here.

Phil Boatright points out the popular Hollywood actor was never known for professing Christ. That’s because McQueen “waited until the December of his years to embrace the Lord.”

I leave you with referencing a funny quip by my friend Stephanie Boone. Enjoy this “take off your sweater, then put your sweater back on, then add a scarf weather!”