Taking A Knee, Are Protests Dividing Or Rebuilding American Ideals?
You can’t flip to a single news station without seeing some type of coverage on the NFL’s peaceful protests in response to the President’s statements on Friday. President Trump indicated that players who choose to kneel during the National Anthem should be fired from their positions in the NFL. This ignited an angry chain reaction from both players and coaches. The unrest has reached into the heart of the Midwest, and even the dedicated Red states are seeing a reaction.
“I am troubled by the President’s recent comments about our league and our players,” said Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts.
“Sports in America have the unique ability to bring people from all walks of life and from different points of view together to work toward or root for a common goal, and the Indianapolis Colts are proud to be a part of that tradition in our home city and state.”
Colts fans were stunned Sunday when many of Indiana’s players took a knee during the playing of the national anthem. In a show of personal solidarity, many of the opposing Cleveland Brown players joined them in protest.
This isn’t a new phenomenon in the sports industry, having started when Colin Kaepernick first took a knee during the National Anthem last year to protest the treatment of people of color in America. The action has taken on a new meaning as President Trump has become a serious point of contention for the American people.
On Saturday, the MLB saw its first act of protest bleeding over from the unrest in the NFL. Oakland A’s catcher, Bruce Maxwell, became the first in the league to embrace the practice and to openly make his statement during the playing of the anthem.
USA Today explained the event, saying, “Saturday night, Maxwell took that risk, inspired to act by what he saw around him and unafraid of any consequences.”
The growing outward display of defiance in the face of political pressure is a direct reflection of a country peeling away from an outdated standard of ethics. Many players have pointed out that kneeling does not mean that they disrespect their country or the men and women who fight and pay with their lives to defend it. They simply choose not to have their lives and actions micromanaged by the whims of a government that has lost sight of American priorities.
Priorities that should be less concerned with the public slight from a professional sports team, and refocused on the lives of the American People. Americans are going through a time of real change, and they’re taking the country with it.
The public protests of professional sports icons have done something greater than perhaps their intended message. They have started a nationwide dialogue of change.
[Featured Image by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images]