My attempting to ‘talk sports’ will be tantamount to Trump ‘speaking presidentially’. We should both shut up.
But, indulge me as I lend my two-cents (and I say, lend because I do want your/my two-cents back on this topic) on this debate/issue/situation that has been unfolding and trending all weekend – #takeaknee or #taketheknee. By now everyone must be aware of it (I mean… if I am, there is little chance in hell anyone missed it!); but just in case let me give the back-story.
In 2016 NFL player, Colin Kaepernick, in his attempt to bring awareness to and denounce racism and inequality, knelt (on one knee) during the playing of the National Anthem before a game. Since then, he has been black-listed and shunned. If I am correct, I do believe he is team-less at the moment (but don’t quote me on this fact). His position, both literal and ethical has sparked solidarity across the NFL league(s) and its reach has now extended to the NBA and outside of the sports arena.
That fucking idiot Trump has now made THIS his newest focus! Not only has he denounced (which is his right) their position (no pun intended), but in his very eloquent way, he has made what should be one man’s right to exercise his right to speech, a pissing contest. Before I go on let me say this: president or not, a “pissing contest” requires the ability to whip out one’s dick, aim and see who’s arc extends the furthest. Two of the key components in winning are a big dick and skill. Guess who will lose?! This particular idiot has taken a legitimate cause and a legitimate reaction and further disrespected both! Amongst the other derogatory things he has said, he has also referred to those that choose to exercise their rights, “sons of bitches”.
Listen; this is what we kneed to do. We kneed to continue to know our rights and insist on them. We kneed to continue to educate ourselves and our young so that when we speak or when we take a stand, we do so with knowledge, confidence and eloquence. We kneed to stop our participation in the degradation of our own race, thereby insisting others do the same. We kneed to break the cycles of self-loathing, self-effacing and selfishness that perpetuate a cycle of mediocrity. We kneed to stand (or kneel) in solidarity with those who are brave enough to speak for us when we have yet to find our own voices.
The conversations sparked by Kaepernick’s position are important and necessary ones. Jack-ass president aside, dialogues now include our rights under the constitution, the text of the Declaration of Independence and how it should be interpreted, racism, inequality and alright… the jack-ass president! This could only be a good thing. Change happens when spotlights are shone on those situations others depend on us to keep hidden. When voices are raised in ire, disgust, outrage… and solidarity, injustices are no longer a secret and must be confronted and dealt with.
We live in a country where protesting the killing of an animal to save a child is accepted, expected and encouraged. The (black) mother is blamed for negligence. The animal is martyred. We however also live in a country where speaking up for your rights, as a minority, is rejected, ridiculed and punishable. We live in a country where white supremacists can run amok, terrorize and kill. We however also live in a country where the current president cites, “blame on both sides”. We live in a country where it is acceptable our black men trade running the fields to pick cotton for running the fields and courts to entertain, as long as they never forget… they’re still running the damned fields! Where our women should be honored to become the focus of the white man who seeks to fulfill some misguided sense of duty by elevating her from picking his cotton to picking up his cotton underwear!
DO NOT GET ME STARTED!
Okay. I support anyone who not only recognizes his worth and value but insists others do the same. I appreciate the visibility of Kaepernick; trusting that through his celebrity and that of the other highly-visible faces and voices, something meaningful and necessary will come from this. We refuse to be counted less than fucking animals and certainly a flag cannot garner more respect than we do! (Oh, and by the way… if Kaepernick was team-less before all this hullabaloo, I see a job in his future. Thank you, Trump!).
My friends, this is what we kneed to do…