My Take on Take a Knee
You’re watching a bunch of kids out on a field. Could be football, could be futbol. Heck, it could be rugby, who knows. The point is, there’s some kind of a ball, a grassy turf, spectators, and kids. Athletes, members of two opposing teams, running around playing and having fun but also, you know, putting their bodies at risk. Knowing full well that in the middle of all that running around, someone’s bound to get hurt. It’s a given. And so you’ve got your icepacks handy, your bandages, maybe a stretcher, a medical staff–whatever is necessary to deal with the injury on the spot in the best way possible until proper medical attention can be provided.
In the meantime, though, as soon as it’s evident that there’s a fairly serious injury on the field, a hush goes over the crowd and all members of both teams take a knee. They become silent. They’re respectful. They’re hopeful. And even if it’s the star player of the opposing team and you know you’ll have a better chance at winning if that kid leaves the game, you don’t allow yourself to hope for the worst–you actually worry and hope everything turns out okay. In that moment you stop seeing that individual as the enemy and see him or her instead as a son or daughter whose mother’s probably watching breathless from the sideline, fighting back tears. Or you see a student whose future might be in peril if the injury is season-ending and that potential college scholarship gets passed on to someone else. Or you simply see a child who is in pain.
Taking a knee doesn’t mean disrespect. It means acknowledging that something isn’t right. It means concern. Solidarity. Hope.
And when that kid gets lifted up by his coach and hops his way to the sideline, spectators on both sides of the field clap and cheer because progress is being made, because something that was broken can now get fixed. And everybody wins.