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 Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less
via Noti Tolum / Facebook

A group of beachgoers in Mexico proved that when people join together and stand up for justice, you can triumph in even the direst of circumstances.

Municipal police in Tulum, Quintana Roo got received a tip that there were men allegedly committing "immoral acts" on the beach. So the officers, armed with AR-15 rifles, picked up two Canadian men.

"The officers approached a group of young foreigners," local politician Maritza Escalante Morales recounted in her video. "After about 20 minutes passed, a patrol car arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs."

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

This story was originally published on The Mighty.

Most people imagine depression equals “really sad,” and unless you’ve experienced depression yourself, you might not know it goes so much deeper than that. Depression expresses itself in many different ways, some more obvious than others. While some people have a hard time getting out of bed, others might get to work just fine — it’s different for everyone.

Keep Reading Show less
via @jharrisfour / Twitter

The 2021 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) kicked off in Orlando, Florida on Friday. It's three days of panels and speakers with former President Donald Trump delivering the keynote speech on Sunday night.

It's believed that during the speech Trump will declare himself the Republican frontrunner for the 2024 nomination.

So far, the event has made headlines for a speech by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas who tried his hand at stand-up comedy. "I've got to say, Orlando is awesome," Cruz told the cheering crowd. "It's not as nice as Cancun. But it's nice."

Keep Reading Show less