This veteran not only supports the athletes “Taking a knee” today, I agree with them. If you disagree, it strikes me that you may not be listening to their message, the thing they’re trying to bring attention to: “Please stop killing us.” Because that’s what is happening. Police in the US have killed at least 721 people in 2017 in less than nine months (source: Washington Post database). That’s on track to beat the 963 killed by police last year.
The single biggest factor in whether police will shoot someone they apprehend is the color of their skin, not the crime for which they are being sought. Many, it turns out, were innocent. Whites who are sought for the same offenses, even violent ones, are much more rarely shot. These are the facts.
Acts of protest, by their very nature, make us uncomfortable because they force us to consider aspects of ourselves, and of our nation, which we don’t want to believe are true. If this protest bothers you, I urge you to stop for a moment of introspection and ask why that is.
Trust me when I tell you that it takes more moral courage to make a stand like these people are than it does to jump out of an airplane.
And for those who are saying that athletes (or musicians, or artists, or writers) should just shut up and do their jobs: becoming a public person in the execution of your profession does not remove one’s right to speak out against injustice.
All respect to Colin Kapernick and those following the path he’s blazed.#TakeAKnee