Kneeling

Colin Kaepernick, the former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, was the one who began the custom of kneeling during the National Anthem ceremony at the start of games, rather than the customary standing, with hand or hat held over the heart. This was done in recognition of injustices toward African Americans, including the abundance of black deaths at the hands of police related to the black proportion of citizens in the country. In the past few weeks, as part of the increasing protest marches related to George Floyd’s death due to kneeling on his neck by a police officer, along with years of other wrongs toward African Americans, kneeling has again taken a prominent part.

Since the action was taken by Kaepernick, I’ve wanted to bring to attention the fact that kneeling is a sign of respect, not disrespect. It may be different from what we’ve all learned to do at a US flag ceremony, and it is trying to communicate something in addition, namely that injustice toward the black population does exist and needs correction, so it’s a sign of respect toward the black population too. But still, it’s a sign of respect, and I wish everyone, not least Donald Trump, would recognize and give voice to that.

 

2 thoughts on “Kneeling

  1. Absolutely, and it is in the finest tradition of nonviolence.
    There’s a lovely photo of 60 police officers in Fayetteville, NC, taking a knee with the demonstrators, thereby changing the atmosphere.

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    1. Thanks again, Annie. I think I saw that photo of the Fayetteville police officers, and some other similar ones. I think they “get it”, along with at least some of their fellow policemen. Interestingly, I think even Roger Goodell, who leads the National Football League, seems to be “coming around” to the idea of kneeling as peaceful protest.

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