NFL players aren't being disrespectful when they take a knee during the anthem

Friday , October 13, 2017 - 7:00 AM1 comment

I would like to respectfully add my voice to the debate over the actions of the NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem as a protest. The objective of the players who participate is to bring the attention of the nation to issues of social injustice. As a country ,we have been dealing with racial issues since before our great nation became independent from Great Britain. It would be naïve to say that we are in a post-racial country.

I have only heard one player actively speak out about the issue and explain the protest, and that is Colin Kaepernick.

Let’s look at what the players are actually doing. They are taking a knee. If you have ever played a sport, when do you take a knee? You take a knee to defer to a coach who has something to say. It demonstrates that you have his or her attention. That is what the players are doing. They are not turning their backs on the flag or giving the Black Panther salute or flipping the bird or anything else disrespectful.

Would we see this act as disrespectful if once upon a time the teams had decided to kneel for the anthem rather than stand? I think we need this context.

I find the act of kneeling for the anthem to be very respectful. It just doesn’t follow with established tradition.

I hope that we can get past the action and have meaningful discussion as a nation about the social issues the NFL players want us to see and discuss. I hope we can “take a knee” as a country and listen more than we speak. That is the beginning of understanding.

Oland Thompson


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