Donations have been made for all the natural disasters we (Puerto Rico is part of that we) and our southern neighbors have endured. Calls have been made to senators and representatives over the multitude of critical issues underway right now. (healthcare, taxes, budget proposals, emails, etc etc) so this other hot button topic … kneeling.
There is a very important quote below my ramblings so please skip if you’d like to it directly.
This started with one man peacefully and silently protesting what he felt was an injustice. You don’t have to agree with that feeling, it was his and he was not wrong for feeling that way, but that’s all he did. Peacefully, silently, on his own, expressed a first amendment right. He then accepted the consequences of that protest. He spoke about it but also accepted it. A skilled athlete (his stats from his final ten games are better than eleven currently starting NFL quarterbacks), he will likely never see another snap in a football game.
For those that have turned this into a patriotism/flag scandal, please remember where this started and please read the quote below, it provides an incredibly important insight of which I’m willing to bet you are currently unaware:
From Dr. Theodore Johnson:
Lost in the debate over NFL players’ kneeling is how Kaepernick came to kneel during the national anthem instead of sitting.
When Kaepernick first started to draw attention to the oppression of black people, he was sitting on the bench in protest. He then met with a couple of veterans who discussed his sitting. They advised him if he wanted to protest but show respect, he should kneel. Kneeling is a sign of respect. We kneel when we pray. Military members kneel when presenting the flag to military families during funerals. The vets told Kaep that kneeling would show respect for those who fought & died for the country, while also drawing attn to his protest.
So kneeling was SPECIFICALLY SELECTED as the form of protest to HONOR those who fought for our country. Again, Kaep listened TO VETERANS on this issue and chose to kneel instead of sitting.
Yet, now his kneeling is seen as “disrespectful.” And folks ask: “isn’t there a better way??” The truth is…no… there isn’t. When black students sat at whites-only lunch counters desiring to buy a meal, they were beaten and spat on. “Isn’t there a better way?” When civil rights protesters marched, they were attacked w/ fire hoses & German shepherds. “Isn’t there a better way?” When BLM activists block traffic or get a permit to hold a rally and people show up in military gear, “Isn’t there a better way?” When Moral Monday activists in NC shut down City Hall, “Isn’t there a better way?” When students walk out of school to protest racial discrimination or immoral immigration practices, “Isn’t there a better way?” When black women refused to move from their seats in segregated public spaces, “Isn’t there a better way?”
No, there is never a better way. Never. The problem isn’t the method of protest; it’s the people protesting. That’s who the issue is with. So when players go out of their way to kneel to show respect for those who served, like me, and then are accused of being disrespectful? The flag is just a heuristic for a more sinister impulse that most of the country still can’t find the courage to discuss honestly. So yeah, let’s just talk about anthems and flags and ungrateful black millionaires and better ways. That’ll make us great.