The Politics of Kneeling

I’m going to do this.  God help me, I’m going to make a political post on my non political blog.

And I may regret doing this tomorrow, because I already know it’s going to prickle at the skin of many people that I know.  But whatever, Neimöller has long taught me otherwise.   That, and, the world means its very self to me, and so I must speak up.  

No one banned the NFL when players took steroids.  No one banned the NFL when they fought dogs.  When they assaulted women.  When they beat their wives.  When they committed murder. 

But, God forbid, a man kneels at a football game, and the nation finds itself in uproar. 

I don’t understand.  

Our nation is our constitution.  Our constitution is our amendments.  Our amendments, the first in particular, guarantee the freedom of speech.  And I, for one, think this is a beautiful, peaceful way of protesting.  

Because, you see, these people aren’t standing against America.  They are kneeling for an America that they know holds the potential to be a thousand times better than what it is.  

When did standing [kneeling] for equality become wrong?  I am, to be perfectly frank, insanely confused by this.  I don’t understand the logic.  All I see is a myriad of fearful people revolting against the most honest of convictions.  

We owe it to ourselves to be better.  Kneeling during the anthem isn’t protesting the flag.  It isn’t disrespectful.  It’s making a statement.  A statement that America is fucking beautiful and so much so much better than what we have been up until this point.  It’s declaring, not only that we should be better, but that we must be better, and we can be better.  Because the amendments promise change, and we have always been a nation of growth.  Why would that shift now?  

I love America.  I love this country.  I want it to be the greatest representation of majesty, equality, liberty, that the world has ever seen.  But it cannot become that if we don’t change our mindsets and our approach. 

To the NFL, kneel away.  

To the rest of you, don’t you see these men are praying?  Don’t you see they are taking precious moments to ask their God, whomever he may be, to grant them peace and promise?  Or have you forgotten what it means to pray?  Did you forget those lessons, late at night, at the edge of your bed, tiny palms pressed against the quilted covers?  Knees digging into hardwood floors?  This is how we pray for change.  For love.  For beauty. 

Do not forget where you came from.  Do not create divides between the us and them.  There is no divide between the things that make us human.  

Calm your raging hearts, for just a moment.  Remember what it means to live in love.  It’s okay.  Genuinely, honestly, it’s okay.  Let the people protest in their peaceful ways.  Let it be.  If you will not kneel beside them, then please, at least, let it be.  

But I for one will kneel.  Because I know what things like hurt feel like.  I know how it feels when a nation turns its back against your plight.  I know the feeling intimately, in fact, despite the privilege I possess.  Because I also possess my womanhood.  And I know these moments of injustice.  And, if you have not had the chance to greet them, consider yourself lucky.  I’m not playing “snowflake.”  I’m not asking for “safe spaces.”  I am asking you to listen.  Quiet yourselves and just listen.  I will do the same in turn.

If sons of bitches means a man courageous enough to risk the entirety of his career on something he believes in, then call me a son of a bitch too, while you’re at it.  I’ll wear the title with pride.  

I will not stand in fear.  But I will kneel in love.  In solidarity.  In the knowledge that this great country has great leaps to make.    This is America my friends.  This is everything. 

*If you disagree with my words here, please do so with civility and compassion.  I believe that I have spoken with such, I would ask you to, in turn, do so as well.  Let’s have a conversation, not an argument.  Let’s discuss, not wage war.  I am growing weary of the fighting, but that does not mean I am not willing to talk.

34 thoughts on “The Politics of Kneeling

    1. In the end, those we don’t stand for will not be around when we need someone to stand for us. If we watch the world burn, what will there be left of it? So many place their priorities in all the wrong things. I know I do too at times. It takes community, and moments like this, to remind us of that. Be well. And thank you for your words.


  1. I was there and saw the civil rights protests and the protests against the draft and the war in the 60’s. I saw the tear gas and the violence. These kneeling at football game “protests” are extremely “tame” by any measure. I do not understand the vitriol they inspire in some people.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s fear, mostly. I know because I was there once, in my younger, less loving days. Fortunately I learned to meet people, different from myself. And when that happens, you gain empathy, compassion, and an appreciation for suffering that others have endured. We only have each other, after all.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well put, Shayleene. My first thought when I saw the pix of teams kneeling, was about prayer, too. We kneel before God and to me, this seemed like a plea for justice, love and mercy.
    And you know, it’s just the Rage du Jour…next week it’ll be something else in the ego’s need for drama.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. YES!!! I love this post. You have expressed this so well and the think I love best is how you have put it into perspective. As I am not American I cannot comment on the whole constitutional rights thing but peaceful protest is something worth defending and you have done this so well here.

    Liked by 2 people

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  5. Colin consulted a Veteran who he admired because he did not want to offend anyone, yet answer me why is our government paying the NFL!? Piped Patriotism sounds like “big government spending” to me & considering how the noise maker’s 💖 Free speech/expression (political & philosophically that is) & they oft claim “superior” right to are all about cutting said spending, I find it disingenuous – all around!

    Taking a stand is always hard regardless (kinda like the post itself, good on you) yet it is made doubly hard when there is dishonest!

    “Where is there dignity without honesty!?” Cicero (& I probably paraphrase badly) Thanks for the post & the dignified honesty, I find it refreshing.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Daniel Davis

    The issue that I have is not the kneeling portion but the lack of a clear and cohesive agenda. Some players will say they’re kneeling to stop White Supremacy while others kneel against Nazis. The first and foremost important part about a political movement is an agenda.

    My second issue is that these players who make millions of dollars a year, who drive a six figure car to the stadium, and who have beautiful houses are complaining about equality and how oppressed they are.

    I’m a white male and I’ve been called a Nazi an White Supremacist for simply offering my opinions on the matter. Like I said, I don’t have any issue with them kneeling at all because it’s their First Amendment rights to do so. America was built upon Freedom and specific wording was put into our Constitution to protect people like this. However, when you are lacking a clear agenda and end goal while not doing things to better your community and doing nothing to make the issue better I can’t support it. I recently wrote my first post on my defense of the First Amendment and why it’s so important to society, I hope you’ll read it and let me know if you agree with it or not.

    But I do, however, agree 100% on the point you’ve made about how they didn’t ban players for much worse things and you make a valid point.

    I also don’t agree with Trump calling for these men to be fired because the President has absolutely no reason to get involved in private businesses nor does he have the slightest clue how to handle something like this. (The Republican Party has cried for years that they want government out of business.) He’s just saying words just to say them without actually thinking about what he’s saying. Whats even more scary is he tweeted about shutting down and revoking the licenses of news outlets who oppose him which is again, against the First Amendment. He took an oath in front of 350 million Americans to uphold our rights. That is the real issue and the Right-Wing media doesn’t care about that, they care more about “disrespecting a flag” rather than our President pussyfooting around violating our most sacred right in our Constitution.

    Here is my defense of the First Amendment, I’d like to hear what your thoughts are on it:

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Well, while you’re absolutely right, there isn’t much cohesion across the board, in anything. But I don’t think it makes it less worthy of being stood for. BLM had people fighting for rights, and then people shouting down with whitey. Pro life groups have people making their argument, and others bombing abortion clinics. I think that messages are always lost in translation, and I think total cohesion is impossible with such a varied species such as ourselves. That being said, there is still a worthy message to be received in the kneeling.
      I’m not calling you any of those things. I don’t think you are quite frankly. But a lot of those kids came straight from the hood. A lot of those players know oppression, racism, and poverty like you or I never will. Having wealth now cannot undo the trauma of dodging bullets as a child. It just doesn’t. The human psyche is formed during childhood. No matter how successful an adult, a traumatizing childhood will last for the duration of ones life. The argument of their “current wealth” has absolutely no foundations here. And by the way, being wealthy doesn’t somehow make racism, prejudice, or bias in any outlet “easier” to tolerate. That’s just silly talk.
      But I would love to read your article. I will head over there later today when I get more time to really appreciate and dive in.
      Thanks for your response. I don’t quite agree with you entirely on the first couple of points, and I’d be interested to hear what political group actually demonstrates a clear and concise agenda, because I haven’t seen one yet.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Daniel Davis

        Well and that’s ok to disagree because that’s the only way discourse and discussion will take place. The only way change will happen is if we have civil discussions like we just had. It’s ok to disagree and it’s ok to have debate, I just wish more people had that mindset.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. You know what pisses me off about this story? Is people who have been going to sports events for not just years, but decades! Decades of standing for the anthem, then one day because a half – rate quarterback who made millions of dollars for just a few seasons, not Warren Moon or Donovan McNabb, but a half rate guy – decide to kneel – people get brainwashed and decide it’s Ok! This story is so stupid and I for one am thrilled that the league is getting so much backlash for it! And please stop with the first amendment BS! I am so tired of liberals only using that for their own reasons. These players are employed by the NFL and have rules to follow. One of those is to stand. Do you think you could get away with that at your job? You have 1st amendment rights. Why not spend tomorrow at lunch screaming in the hallway about politics? You have that right, don’t You? These players are nothing but hypocrites. All talk, no action.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Just stumbled across your blog post and I couldn’t agree more. I had to chuckle because my own blog ( is ANYTHING but political — or meant to be — but it also occasionally gets dropped on its head into a post that is just that. In this climate, in these days, it has to if it is going to remain real as is your blog. As you said “This is America, my friends. This is everything.” You rock!


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