Every so often I tune into Fox News to get their perspective on things. And so last Monday I saw Carl Tuckerson posing a question to a guest (a lawyer who supports the NFL players and their right to protest). Here’s the question (paraphrased)
If they want to protest, why not write a letter or gather in a park..? Why do they have to use the flag?
Well, here’s an answer…
The reason why these athletes have chosen the flag and the anthem is because the stadium is their platform, so…
1. There’s lots of people there to watch superstars
2. The athletes ARE the superstars
3. There’s a flag and anthem tradition
4. There’s national media coverage
These athletes recognize the flag and the anthem as the most important of these things, as most Americans do, BECAUSE, just like us, they have been taught to honor the flag and the anthem. So they use quiet and respectful gestures to draw attention to racial inequality and police brutality while the anthem gives context to the gestures.
There is nothing irreverent about quietly taking a knee. For thousands of years people have dropped a knee before a king or an altar as a gesture of reverence and appeal. And it’s appropriate because their protest *IS* an appeal to the American people and our constitutional system. That isn’t represented by the audience of football fans or the crowd around them… Our republic is represented by that flag and the anthem that brings our attention to it.
So please Carl, don’t cheapen the flag by turning it into a political device. Instead, validate the honor of the flag by considering the grievances of the citizens kneeling before it.