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The Navy Football team takes a knee in prayer in the locker room.

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Land of the…..Free?

Why you and Tim Tebow should have taken a knee during the national anthem. Why you should take a knee today on Juneteenth.

Navy Football players take a knee in prayer after a game. (Public Domain)

Land of the…..Free?

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Taking a knee.

Taking a knee has always been a sign of reverence. A sign of respect. Take the Catholic church for example. We genuflect (verb: to bend the knee) as a sign of respect to God, to honor something greater than ourselves. The creator. The almighty. We humble ourselves before Him as we acknowledge that we aren’t perfect.

Taking a knee.

We also see this in stories of fantasy: Knights being summoned to their first battle, rising up from some impossible background or battle of courage where they displayed traits such as honor, valor, bravery. Out of respect for the oath they swore, they take a knee.

Taking a knee.

We take a knee in sports all the time. In our huddles growing up, while listening to our coaches and captains discuss the finer points of strategy, or giving us the rousing speech we need to motivate us when we are down but not out. We take a knee out of respect. Respect for our coach, our captain, our teammates and ourselves.

Taking a knee.

Taking a knee has been normalized throughout all of society. It is a gesture that is universally understood. Very hard to misinterpret as it has been etched into our society for generations. Well, unless it’s a black man in America. A black Athlete. A man whose only “crime” was using one of the most peaceful symbols possible to say, “Please respect my life as much as you respect my ability to throw a ball.”

Because he took a knee, now this man is “violent”. Now he’s a “thug”. Now you should get that “Son of a Bitch” off the field because, how DARE he raise his voice? How DARE he think his life is worth more than our entertainment. Why can’t he just shut up and dribble? Why can’t they just play ball? Why can’t I just stand here with my hand over my heart, singing about the land of the free and the home of the brave while completely ignoring how hollow those words ring?

Doesn’t he know his place? He’s only there for our enjoyment. Not to speak.  Not to be heard. He’s there for my enjoyment and nothing more.

Taking a knee.

Today is Juneteenth. A celebration. A reminder. A message to all people in this land that while America has failed in its ideals, it still attempts to become worthy of them. We still work towards a world where Black athletes, Black lives, are worth more than their ability to throw a ball. More than their ability to shoot a jumper. More than their ability to run swiftly.

Will you take a knee? At the cookouts you have with your family. At the gatherings at your church. At the barbershops, the salons. Will you elevate the voices of the disenfranchised? Have the tough conversations to get people to see that Black lives are worth more than their culture, or their ability? Will you fight to create an America where we can live up to our ideals of liberty and justice for all?

Will you take a knee of respect? Of reverence? Of Solidarity? 

Or will your knee be on my neck?

We at The Turf have always been of the mind that standing up for what is right and standing up in opposition to hate and violence is necessary. In that same breath, we affirm that Black Lives Matter. To donate to this fight, or for resources on how to help the fight against systemic racism in the United States here is a small portion of the many organizations and groups to consider: Black Visions CollectiveLGBTQ Freedom FundThe Okra ProjectReclaim the BlockColor of Change, Shed Light | Spread Light, and Black Lives Matter

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