Kneeling. When I first started this blog, had someone told me I’d be writing about kneeling, well, I’d have thought they were a bit nuts. But then again, we live in some sort of surreal alternate universe. Trump’s America has me often wondering if anything that I thought I knew still makes sense. But unlike the president, I read. I continue to learn. I don’t declare myself as so smart that I don’t need anything, anyone, don’t need to listen.
OK. First, the president is an idiot. I guess that goes without saying, but I had to say it.
So what is the big deal about kneeling during the national anthem? It’s a sign of disrespect for the flag? WRONG. Take a deep breath and look at a bit of reality. When in church one kneels before god (or God) as an act of respect, of supplication, an acknowledgement of a greater power (and no, we don’t need a debate here from the atheists about whether god exists). If I were to be honored and granted a title from the Queen of England I’d kneel before her as part of the process. Again, it’s an act of respect. Finally, if the pope calls and asks me to pop into the Vatican for a visit? Again, kneeling, as part of the formal greeting I kneel before the pope and kiss his ring. Kneeling isn’t an act of disrespect, it’s an act to confer honor.
I can only speculate as to why Colin Kaepernick chose to kneel instead of doing something else, but no part of me believes his choice was about disrespect for our flag or our country. If he had intended disrespect he could have turned his back on the flag or remained seated. He did neither. He chose an act, that in other contexts, is of ultimate respect. I believe that’s why he made the choice to kneel, not out of disrespect, but out of respect for our country and what it can be. His statement is about us being better. If he didn’t believe in what we can be he would have chosen an act of disrespect. I support him, the NFL players, and Bruce Maxwell, who yesterday was the first major league baseball player to kneel.