Kneeling. It has everyone up in arms on both sides of the political spectrum (keeping it simple at two sides). Just listen to the news and the rhetoric from NFL GAMES last Sunday. Some players actions have been called “disgraceful” and “disrespectful to veterans”. (1) Well, ok, let’s ease up a bit. I underlined games because they are just that. Games.

What is kneeling? Just like everything else we do, Google it. Wikipedia comes to the rescue again. “Kneeling is a basic human position where one or both knees touch the ground. It is used as a resting position, during childbirth and as an expression of reverence and submission. Also often tied with the phrase “taking a knee” which is a sign of compassion as well as honoring the fallen or injured.” (2) Wait?! CHILDBIRTH!? I’m no doctor, but that seems…difficult. So, kneeling is not a disrespectful action. It’s something you would do at church, listening to coach talk, or show support towards an injured player.

Now, to me, a soon to be veteran in a few months, I find no issue with taking a knee as a sign of protest. Burn a flag during the anthem? Ok, I’m bothered but it’s still allowed. I won’t speak for other Marines or vets and their views, mine are my own. Do I think that I fought for the player’s ability to do this? No. Hell, if anything, I fought for Afghans abilities to do this exact thing in their country. We just have more work to do. Have I fought for liberty, freedom, mom’s apple pie, rock n’ roll, and Corvettes here in America? Maybe. Hopefully, we’ve found a way to cut funding to the Taliban, which in the long run could prevent another 9/11. I subscribe to the “take the fight to the enemy on their turf, so we don’t have to fight on ours” mindset. Will our actions defeat the radicalized lone wolf already established in society? I don’t think so. That’s another discussion for another day.

So, kneeling players…you asked for the spotlight and now you have it. What are you going to do with it? Better strike while the iron is hot. The American attention span and new cycle will soon shift to something else if you’re too slow. Have someone step up and give a message. Also, establish some goals before you start talking. You think you’re going to end racism by kneeling before a football game? Lofty goal my friend. There are some short-term goals that need to be set in support of long-term ones before we live in harmony like other countries.

To all of the fans booing during the anthem, if you’re doing it to protest, it’s annoying but it’s your right. If you’re booing because you see players kneeling…just stand quietly, enjoy the anthem, sweet ass flyover, and sip your beer. Enjoy what you are there to watch. A GAME. Honestly, the thing that makes me scratch my head is how we encourage/pay these players to bash each other’s heads in the name of competition knowing full well there is a chance they will have CTE later in life. And this is coming from a Texan, where football is a rite of passage. Why aren’t we taking a harder look at that problem?

1) Trump calls NFL kneeling ‘disgraceful’, disrespectful to veterans, FoxNews.com, Retrieved from http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/09/26/trump-calls-nfl-kneeling-disgraceful-disrespectful-to-veterans.html

2) Kneeling, Wikipedia, Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kneeling#cite_note-Hewes-1