Football player taking a knee

Take A Knee

I know why I’m not blogging — it’s because I have too much to say, not that I don’t have enough.

Plus, some of the issues I am dealing with, especially with my two girls, are more private in nature.

In the good news column: Michael got a bicycle, and has been on it every day since Saturday. He’s even taken a couple of spills, and STILL jumps on it at the first opportunity.

The thing that’s been driving me insane this week is the national conversation about the protests at NFL games.

It’s not an anthem protest.
It’s not a flag protest.
It’s not a protest of the military.
It’s not even a T*ump protest. Is the President wrong tweeting that the NFL should fire players that kneel? Yes, yes, he is. (I am hard pressed to think of ONE THING the current President is right about, though, so YMMV.) Should people “boycott” the NFL over players that take a knee?? I mean, sure, go ahead.

I started “boycotting” the NFL years ago, after a slow process of disillusionment. So don’t act like boycotting the NFL over protests is admirable. It’s not.

Colin Kapernick started kneeling during the anthem last year (here’s a timeline). He did it to protest the treatment of people of color in America. To quote:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said, via NFL.com. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

And that’s what the media should cover, and what we should be talking about. Instead of counting heads — who knelt, who stood, who stayed in the locker room or tunnel (hi, I’m looking at you, Pittsburgh Steelers) — instead of talking about who has the right to say what, and who is allowed to protest and how, we need to return to the conversation.

Maybe instead of showing up in a sports bar and asking patrons what they think of the NFL or the protests, we need to ask harder questions. What do you think of racial oppression in this country? What do you think of white officers shooting black men, and getting acquitted? What do you think of white supremacists?

I could go on.

I have respect for those decide to protest something, especially something as wrong and as pervasive as racial inequality. Kapernick put his livelihood on the line to make a point.

We need to talk about WHY Kapernick and other players are protesting. The protests are not the news. We need to have more difficult conversations about race in America. It’s not going away. I don’t know that it’s a solvable problem, but if we don’t start talking about it, we’ll never know.

Copyright for featured image: ostill / 123RF Stock Photo

5 thoughts on “Take A Knee

  1. Yeah, I’ve got a blog post about this very issue and it just keeps getting too big or didactic or disingenuous or anything other than appropriate so I haven’t posted. I’ve tried writing it a few times but it just hasn’t worked out and I am disappointed in myself.

  2. Yes, after a full week of work, paying taxes, dealing with kid stuff, I want to invite my friends over to talk race relations. I actually did this weekend and unprovoked my black friend said this is bullshit. Kaep wore pig socks and now he’s a hero? Everyone agreed, and we are sick of having this bullshit thrown down our throats by the media, social justice warrior bloggers etc.

    1. Everything is fine. They are doing the normal stuff of growing up, and it’s private stuff for me to mull over in private. 🙂

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