I've watched every Patriots game since 1991. But I can't this Sunday.

​​I've watched or attended every New England Patriot's game since 1991. I won't be doing either this Sunday.

Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images.

Ever since I can remember, I've been a New England Patriots fan. For a long time, the Patriots were a very bad football team. They were the laughing stock of the league. I spent many a winter on cold metal benches angry at my brother for dragging me to see an awful performance every other Sunday.


All that changed though with the arrival of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Four Super Bowls and a few controversies later, the legend of the greatest coach-player duo is still growing on the gridiron.

Image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images.

Bill Belichick is a genius on the football field. But something changed for me when he publicly endorsed the now president-elect.

On the eve of the election, Trump spoke at a rally in New Hampshire and read out loud a letter written by Belichick. In it, Belichick praised the candidate's perseverance and work ethic, and he enthusiastically, publicly supported Trump's candidacy.

Image by Scott Eisen/Getty Images.

Brady was also pulled into it. His wife, Gisele Bündchen, reportedly dispelled the myth that they had already voted for him.

This all shocked me to the core. Then when Trump won, it sparked a series of personal reflections like never before. After 350 games of unwavering support, I now needed to step away from my team.

It may seem like a small, silly protest and have you thinking, "It's just football," but the emotions felt by many, many groups are real and palpable.

I need time to reconcile the fact that Belichick publicly supported someone who has spouted so much hate. It's been terribly difficult trying to explain this to my friends.

I have a bunch of text "chat rooms" where my closest friends and I chew the fat on a myriad of subjects. To be clear, they're all wonderful humans and I'm lucky to have them as a support system.

After the election, some of them weren't as worried about what could happen to the freedoms of minorities, women, Muslims, and the LGBTQ community. While I admire that practical mentality, I was shocked. Then, I realized why I felt the way I did.

I'm the only person of color in this conversation. We never talked about it and we didn't address it.

It was hard to try to explain my palpable fear to them. It was difficult to express my emotional state after witnessing a campaign filled with divisive racism, sexism, homophobia,  fear mongering, and the marginalization of all non-white people. I gently tried, but privately, I cried.

Sports are part of the fabric of who I am, but for now, I have to rip it off like velcro.

Sports are my escape. They're a way for me to remember my hometown.  But right now, watching the Patriots isn't either of those things. I need to step away. This is not a condemnation of the team. This is not a condemnation of New England. I am proud of my city, and I love my friends.

As far as Bill Belichick and the Patriots go, however, I need them to understand supporting this kind of candidate has questioned my allegiance to a team I've grown to love over the past 25 years.

Image by Jim Rogash/ Getty Images.

There are bigger things than the game.

We don't know if those statements and proposed policies of mass-deportation, profiling, wall building, rescinding basic human rights, and disregard for sexual assault are going to become normalized in America. I need time to process it all.

There is much more to worry about than a football game, so I'm going to step away, gain some clarity, and prepare myself for the next four years. And maybe, perhaps, the playoffs.

I hope to do this again. Photo by Shane Kennedy.

Courtesy of CeraVe
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"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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Image by 5540867 from Pixabay

Figuring out what to do for a mom on Mother's Day can be a tricky thing. There's the standard flowers or candy, of course, and taking her out to a nice brunch is a fairly universal winner. But what do moms really want?

Speaking from experience—my kids range from age 12 to 20—a lot depends on the stage of motherhood. What I wanted when my kids were little is different than what I want now, and I'm sure when my kids are grown and gone I'll want something different again.

We asked our readers to share what they want for Mother's Day, and while the answers were varied, there were some common themes that emerged.

Moms of young kids want a break.

When your kids are little, motherhood is relentless. Precious and adorable, yes. Wonderful and rewarding, absolutely. But it's a LOT. And it's a lot all the fricking time.

Most moms I know would love the gift of alone time, either away at a hotel or Airbnb or in their own home with no one else around. Time alone is a priceless commodity at this stage, especially if it comes with someone else taking care of cleaning, making sure the kids are fed and safe and occupied, doing the laundry, etc.

This is especially true after more than a year of pandemic living, where we moms have spent more time than usual at home with our offspring. While in some ways that's been great, again, it's a lot.

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Courtesy of CeraVe
True

"I love being a nurse because I have the honor of connecting with my patients during some of their best and some of their worst days and making a difference in their lives is among the most rewarding things that I can do in my own life" - Tenesia Richards, RN

From ushering new life into the world to holding the hand of a patient as they take their last breath, nurses are everyday heroes that deserve our respect and appreciation.

To give back to this community that is always giving so selflessly to others, CeraVe® put out a call to nurses to share their stories for a chance to be featured in Heroes Behind the Masks, a digital content series shining a light on nurses who go above and beyond to provide safe and quality care to patients and their communities.

First up: Tenesia Richards, a labor and delivery nurse working in New York City who, in addition to her regular job, started a community outreach program in a homeless shelter that houses expectant mothers for up to one year postpartum.

Tenesia | Heroes Behind the Masks presented by CeraVe www.youtube.com

Upon learning at a conference that black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women's health, Richards decided to take further action to help her community. She, along with a handful of fellow nurses, volunteered to provide antepartum, childbirth and postpartum education to the women living at the shelter. Additionally, they looked for other ways to boost the spirits of the residents, like throwing baby showers and bringing in guest speakers. When COVID-19 hit and in-person gatherings were no longer possible, Richards and her team found creative workarounds and created holiday care packages for the mothers instead.

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