#TakeAKnee: Don’t Lose Sight Of The Why
By:     -   September 24, 2017   -   Culture  -  News Break  -  Politics  -  Social Justice  -  Sports   -   Comments are closed   -   371 Views
anthem-protest-fist

We’re not going anywhere.

Photo: SI Have you been paying attention to the peaceful protests all throughout sports nation for Black lives, justice and equality? If not, where have you been? Some examples can be found here and here….and everywhere. Although NFL players, such as Marshawn Lynch and Martellus Bennett, have been sitting through the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial injustice for years, the world took notice when Colin Kaepernick made his mark by kneeling for the same reasons during the 2016 season.

Photo: Getty

Photo: Getty

And make no mistake, Kaepernick has since been blackballed from the NFL.

If you are trying to convince yourselves otherwise you either, (a) don’t know football (there are some really terrible ass quarterbacks being signed over Kaep as starters and backups; owners view him as a “distraction”), (b) have not been paying attention, and/or (c) wish to remain willfully ignorant. Despite his continued generous donations to communities in need, and the implementation of the Know Your Rights Camp, naysayers have steadily questioned his intentions and insist that politics need to be left out of sports.

Here’s the thing, athletes are people, not machines. Once players like Lynch and Kaepernick, and even well-known Hall of Famers like Shannon Sharpe are out of their uniforms or suits, they still carry the target on their backs – being Black. They are just expected to be silent and entertain and tap dance around the issues……The late, great Muhammad Ali did not mince his words.

Athletes have been key players and at the forefront of social change.

 

Your wealth and status will not exempt you from being targets. These things will not save you.

Just last week, Jemele Hill was attacked for her personal social media comments, essentially calling “a thing a thing”. She spoke nothing, but truth when she boldly referred to 45 as a White Supremacist – being as though he has still refused to denounce the violent acts and hate groups at the center of the Charlottesville, Virginia incidents. As a prime example, look at the hate spewed at his rallies, which he gladly eggs on. ESPN immediately surfaced to denounce her remarks as not a reflection of their network, and even worked under to table to try to get her replaced – to which her colleagues stood firm and refused to continue without her.

We stood with Jemele. Yes, we stood with her even when the White House Press Secretary suggested that she, a private citizen, be fired for exercising her right to free speech in speaking out against the blatant show of disregard for marginalized people by the very own president that is supposed to care about us all. Hell, young school girls are still dehumanized for the natural hair that grows out of their heads – we even have to protest our natural hair (schools, military and workplace).

“If you are not at the table, you’re on the menu. Speak and act.”

The WNBA and NBA have given their players the autonomy to peacefully protest and speak out against racial injustice. The NFL…not so much. The most recent rage of Twitter fingers by yours truly, 45, set off several high-profile athletes, commentators and even team owners/leadership. He “rescinded” Stephen Curry’s invitation to the White House, even after the player had already refused to make an appearance under the current administration. And this happened:

To which Kaep’s mom replied:

Then came the overwhelming flurry of support. We are stronger together. #TakeAKnee #TakeAKneeNFL

Stevie Wonder takes a knee:

 

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