This group of men, the players in the NFL, have spent their lives on the field working to keep their knees off the turf. They have spent their lives off the field bowing to no one. They have pushed themselves physically, intellectually and socially. That is the only way they could make it to the NFL.
Since they were young boys, these players’ ability to stay on their feet has been a ticket to something bigger. From Friday night lights to scholarship Saturday to earning the right to play on Sunday they have kept their feet moving. To get here, they have stood tall through lots of shit. These men were born special. They have unimaginable gifts. Throughout their
when they got hit, they stayed up. When they got pushed, they kept their balance. When they got knocked down, they got back on their feet.
Every. Single. Time. Why should this time be any different?
Ask yourself what does it take for these men to take a knee? Would strong, intelligent, socially conscious, brave, black men do this out of disrespect? Or, are they showing courage consistent with their character? The answer is obvious. This is about disrespect, but not of a flag, of a people. This is about racism in this country and the police brutality and systemic injustices that are the symptoms of this racism.
The only question the NFL owners have to answer at this weekend’s meetings is do they have the courage to stand with the players? Do they, as leaders of franchises, leaders of communities, have the strength to make the fans and advertisers understand what the players are saying when they take a knee? Are they brave enough to amplify these strong, intelligent, socially conscious brave black voices? Will they stand up for the players and make it clear that they kneel, not out of disrespect for anything, but in a sign of protest and a demand for respect for themselves, their families and for all who face racial injustice in our country? Or, will they bleach the injustice out of the protest and allow the frame to shift from examining who we are as a country to just country? Will they ask them to stand?
If I were an owner, I couldn’t ask the players to silence their voices. I couldn’t support other owners who try to silence their voices. It is wrong to ask anyone to defer their truth. If you do, the explosion that follows is yours to own.
If I were an NFL owner here is what I would think about the players’ choice to #takeaknee was originally published in sneakerheadVC on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.