You are free to disagree with me.

And that is the beauty of this issue.

You are free and you disagree.

Welcome to America.

 

Three things I would like you to consider:

  1. America is founded on protest
  2. Protestants are the largest group in America
  3. The national anthem is too special to sing at every game

 

America is founded on protest. The founding fathers were literally protesting things like ‘taxation without representation’ and the divine right of kings.

Protest is baked in the American bread – it is embedded in the DNA of our nation.

So kneeling during the national anthem is the perfect time to do so and it honors the ideals that this country is based on. The timing is part of what makes the protest so poignant. It would be so much less powerful if players knelt during the first commercial time-out.

In fact, seen in a certain light, kneeling is probably the perfect way to honor this aspect of our rights as Americans. By one definition, Kneeling is a basic human position where one or both knees touch the ground. It can be used:

  • as a resting position
  • as an expression of reverence and submission
  • as a mark of respect
  • during childbirth

 

Protestants are the largest group in America. It always shocks me when protestants demand conformity and control. Look no further than our name to see that we are born in protest. The entire enterprise is based on the individual’s conscience. [1]

Martin Luther famously said, “here I stand and I can do no other”. An NFL player might say, “here I kneel and I can do no other”.

If you are a white person in America, you should defend player’s rights to kneel no matter how much you disagree with the timing or the message they are trying to convey about policing practices in minority communities. That is what freedom is all about.

 

The national anthem is too special to sing at every game. I love the singing of the national anthem at big events like the Olympics. That makes sense because the athletes are representing their country. I have never understood why we need to sing a worship song to America before we play baseball or football.

I stopped singing the national anthem before non-national games when I was an athlete living in Canada. At first, it was because I was not Canadian. Then I became a dual-citizen but it had stopped making sense to me.

I do honor the singing of the national anthem before USA Soccer matches – that makes sense because the players are in the red-white-and-blue. I swell with pride when the anthem is played after an athlete wins a medal at the Olympics.

Singing it before every single sporting event seems inappropriate. Let’s save it for international games and make it truly special.

Of course, you are free to disagree.

 

[1] Nerdy sidenote: the same can be said for evangelicals, fundamentalists, charismatics, and pentecostals, who call someone ‘heretical’ or claim ‘orthodoxy’. You might want to go to your nearest Orthodox church (they are very welcoming actually) and ask the man in charge what he thinks of your modern take on Christianity. Spoiler alert – you are not orthodox.

Advertisements