The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

A sit down with my son regarding taking a knee

Taking a knee used to be a gesture that showed respect for a fallen teammate or an opponent, but nowadays it represents the most controversial stance in sports history.

This simple act of kneeling during the National Anthem, was a protest initiated by Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, to bring awareness to racial and social injustice.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Kaepernick when he addressed the media regarding his protest that began last season.

In 1995 during my freshman season of football at Citrus Community College, it was a time when racial tensions were still smoldering from the L.A. Riots. Despite being only three years removed from the riots, many felt those embers were on the verge of reigniting all over again.

This was also the same year as the “trial of the century”, more affectionately known as the O.J. Simpson murder trial. A trial that had not only the people of Los Angeles, but all of America, divided as to what the verdict should be. His impending verdict had every one on edge.

As an African-American male, it would’ve been a no brainer to kneel. As a sign of showing solidarity and support, I would’ve done so without fear of consequence or repercussions.

Fast forward to the present, I am now the father of a 13 year old who is in his first season of youth football. Although we have had a few conversations about this topic, I thought to myself what if he wanted to take this stance.

If he presented his argument well enough, would I let him do it? One of my biggest concerns is not my son taking the stance. I encourage him to make his own decisions and stand up for his beliefs.

My concern is about him being booed or something worse, that would trigger my papa bear mode and force me to get all, “Grr” on someone. Honestly, I would be very impressed that he felt so passionate about something, other than his PS4 or Kylie Jenner.

But as the voice of reason and his guide on this journey called life, I would advise him not to kneel, but to focus on the message itself and help him come up with alternative ways to spread that message.

It’s not about kneeling and it’s not about booing those who do, it’s about making sure his generation doesn’t spread the hate that my generation and the generations before me have had to endure.

It’s about ending that cycle and it’s about creating equality.

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