NFL Taking a Knee

Updated on October 01, 2017
L.U. asks from Kirkland, WA
18 answers

My children and I watch the Seahawks every weekend. If we are not home (all 3 play soccer!) then we record it and watch the game later.
I had a pretty great conversation with my children about what has been happening with the president, twitter, and NFL players.
I am wondering what other parents are telling their kids, or if they are telling them anything at all.
Thanks moms!

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So What Happened?

I think that what the NFL players are doing is starting a conversation....which I believe was their intention. Whether or not you agree or disagree it is making us talk!
My "liberal/slanted" discussion with my children had nothing to do with Former President Barack Obama nor with Former Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. It had to do with 45 calling people "sons of bitches." (ADDED: I don't lose credibility. He called the players that were kneeling sons of bitches. It's pretty clear.) With the why behind the kneeling.
I know nothing about other football teams but can tell you that the Seahawks have a multitude of things that they do for the community, that many of our players have their own foundations that support our community and youth, and that many of our players (specifically our QB) are very involved with Stand Up to Cancer, visiting our Children's Hospital weekly.
I also have to wonder....just how many people that are upset by the kneeling are actually standing and saluting? Or are they the ones that are running to the bathroom, grabbing a beer, buying some curly fries?
I believe, and I could be wrong, that these players absolutely respect and appreciate our military. That they are thankful for a country where they have a right to peacefully protest. That even though I completely disagree with WW, she still has a right to believe the way that she does and that she can shout it from the rooftops. But these players ALSO have that right, and their silent protest, their knees and their linked arms of unity, are a strong message.
ADDED: I also believe that when people start using inflammatory language that the conversation is no longer productive.

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answers from Chicago on

We do not watch sports in this house. We have not discussed this incident, nor will we (unless my oldest reads it in the paper and asks). It is an attempt to distract from real issues. (this is not to say that racism and poverty are not real issues, they are giant, massive, top of the list issues. Instead, it is to say that my alert has gone off and it appears like Trump is trying to distract us from something he is doing. It's a distraction. There is some serious chatter with NK going on, some serious issues with Russia. Private emails used by everyone. Whether someone knees at a game is a nonissue. Free speech right if you ask me.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

The highest number of Blacks killed by police (in recent American history) happened under President Obama. So, therefore if the NFL players wanted to take a knee in protest, it should have happened then not now.

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Boston on

ETA 2: For those who are claiming that you legitimately wonder what players protesting have done for the communities they believe are oppressed, here - let me Google that for you, Savannah:
If you would bother to do even a modicum of research, you would see that many, many current and former players - too many to list here - give of their time and money to the community. From just a New England perspective, I personally have worked with members of the New England Patriots through the national PTA's Play 60 initiative who show up in person to host school events for a region where they work out with kids, and players who don't yet have their own separate charities work with the team's charitable foundation to show up at events that support and raise money for the community. Rob Gronkowski donated a ton of new equipment to the youth football program in a neighboring city and showed up at a practice to hand it out and talk to the kids. Tom Brady is a huge part of the Best Buddies program and goes to fundraising events and participates in a charity ride for that program. Brandin Cooks has a foundation that works with kids in three specific communities. I could go on and on and on. The argument that players - especially Kaepernick - aren't doing enough for their communities is just laughable. Stop it.

ETA: Diane, I love your entire response. Brava!

We talk about racial justice (and all kinds of things) in my house a lot now. To a point where my younger kids are a bit sick of it LOL. We are white, but their groups of friends are diverse so they really don't see the injustice yet or get why it's a big deal, why I've participated in two large marches this year, why we keep having conversations. My 13 year old son is starting to see it because his black friends are old enough to be more aware that unfortunately, this nice little bubble of diversity and respect that we've been able to maintain won't last forever and that the world treats young black men differently than it does their white peers. kids know why players choose to take a knee and that it's a respectful sign of peaceful protest. We talk about the difference between nationalism and patriotism, and how using a position of power and visibility to shine a light into dark corners and help lift others up is as American as it gets. That when the country you love doesn't live up to it's own promise, it's only right to draw attention to that and work to make things better, to make your country live up to its ideals and its promises, to say that we can do better.

I'm sad that we need to have these conversations, but I've been living in a pretty cushy bubble of well-intentioned but ineffective, comfortable, middle-class white ignorance my whole life. It's time be uncomfortable. It's time to stop pretending everything is fine. The fact that we're discussing this is a sign that the protest is working, and I'm grateful for the players who chose to use their powerful positions to get the conversation started.

13 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

When my husband proposed marriage to me he did it on one knee.
There was nothing disrespectful about it.

Standing with a hand over your heart is all good and well and what people expect during the national anthem.
I know the knee thing is suppose to be a rebellious act but I'm choosing not to view it as disrespectful.
Turning around, dropping your pants and mooning your bare behind would be disrespectful.
People need to get a grip and get the politics out of sports.
It's turning our bread and circuses into way more pointless drama than it needs to be.

When a magician is flourishing one hand and doing something flashy - it's very important to be looking at what the other hand is doing.
I would really like to know what the other hand is doing.
The bigger the fracas the more I get a feeling a fast one is being pulled somewhere.
I didn't want either candidate to win - we were going to be stuck no matter who won.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

My 8 year old hasn't really noticed. My 11 year old watches the news with me. We've talked about racism and about things that have happened around the country. We've talked about how sometimes people feel so frustrated and that their voices aren't being heard, so they protest is ways like this. I told him that it makes me very sad when people feel as though this is the only way they can be "heard," but as Americans who believe in freedom and freedom of speech, we must recognize that they have a right to "speak."

What saddens me more is the number of people who don't realize that this is one of the many freedoms that our military has fought for ... the right of it's citizens to protest. This is not a comment on the military, and this is not anti-American. If anything, it celebrates the Bill or Rights.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

My kids don't notice bc our family doesn't have any interest in sports. We like playing sports but none of us care to watch sports. But I think everyone has the right to peacefully protest in this country and I have no problem with it. me it's just a blip in time at a football game. There are more important and scary things in the world to focus on. I have had a hard time explaining our president's disrespectful words and what is going on with North Korea. I wish we had a president who would have more dignity and act more thoughtful. The fact that he stoops so low to engage in Twitter wars is quite embarrassing. A president needs to be above that and be a good example. -- added: Gidget makes a great point.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

They have gotten a conversation started, people are asking questions, and some may just learn more about the issues they are protesting about. That is a good thing.

We are a military family, and most of our friends are military or veterans. I tell my kids what I would tell anyone else about this issue, it is their constitutional right to protest peacefully and I support them 100%. And most of our friends agree. We don't fight for a flag or a song, we fight for this country and all that is great about it, and one of those things is our right to protest. Heck, this country started with protests, and through history we have seen peaceful protest bring about great change.

We have also talked about why they are doing it, about racism and police violence. We have talked about Kaepernick and how he not only protests, but donates his time and money to help his community and how it is important to give back to others. We have also discussed the timing of Trumps comments and what he might be trying to distract people from.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I love how you're plastered about writing president instead of President, when this same person wrote 0bama for years on this site. Hypocritical, as usual.

So many instances of police shooting people, and yes, shooting minorities with nothing but a paid desk job as a consequence. Families mourning. Racist rants at complete strangers, nastiness everywhere. It's like racists are coming out of the woodwork trying to normalize this kind of behavior. I guess they would like Jim Crow laws to come back.

I believe that the football players, like you say, want a dialogue about this. The fact that this is AMERICA, and not Russia where some guy wearing a uniform can demand to see your "papers" because you aren't white. It has gone WAY beyond racial profiling since Trump because president. And NO, I don't have to capitalize it, because this is AMERICA.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

My kids are adults and yes we have talked about this.

I hate that people on this site are saying they are tolerant and then blast those who do not agree with their ideas. That is NOT tolerance. I would love to have an open and honest discussion with those who think differently than myself but I have been labeled homophobic, racist, sexist, every imaginable nasty thing one can say to another. Why? I do not go around calling those who think differently than I names. I just have a different opinion. No ones is right or wrong and THAT is what makes this country great. We should be able to discuss these topics without name calling.

NFL? I think this is ridiculous. I don't agree with it HOWEVER, they have every right to do so. As I have every right to disagree and not watch. THAT is what our service members have fought and died for. FREEDOM. We live in a country where we are able to disagree with our government. Do you think you could get away with that in North Korea? I don't think so. As for over indulged football players protesting? I think they should do this on their time and not on company time but that is a different conversation.

I think Wild Woman brought up a good question regarding what are those protesting do to make their communities better. Her question was poo pooed but I think its a good question. I'm sure there are those that do good work quietly and that is great but what is Mr. Kapernick doing for his community?

Yes we have race issues in the United States. But its on both side. White privilege is a ridiculous statement and its insulting. There are very successful black people and it belittles their contributions to their communities as well as whites. Its a slogan that has been manufactured to insight people and feel okay about their lot in life because its "whitey's" fault. I do not buy into that sentiment. No I'm not black and I know my history. Its disgusting what our citizens were subjected to. Are things perfect? Absolutely not. Just look at us, but I refuse to believe that we are so far gone. I refuse to be divided. I stand with ALL AMERICANS. THAT is what we talk about as a family.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

To paraphrase "The American President" - "You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be [standing during the National Anthem]. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to [take a knee during the playing of the National Anthem]. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then you can stand up and sing about the land of the free."

These are serious issues that need to be addressed. It's so unfortunate when people dismiss it so quickly, "Oh, there they go again, disrespecting the flag ... " Yes, but no. Mostly they are just trying to get others to pay attention and deal with an issue.

We reminded our kids that it's important to keep talking about this issues and keep working towards solutions.

It's frustrating when people get so fixated on these players "disrespecting the flag" and forget about the very important issues that led to the protests.

ETA - I just heard about the Dallas Cowboys. That story made me cry!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

ADDED: For "New Granny G" - The protest started in August 2016, during the Obama Admin.
It spread through the NFL recently because of the "fire them" (anti-First-Amendment) twitter tirade.

In September, 2016: Green Beret, Nate Boyer, suggested that Kap take a knee to SHOW RESPECT in his protest.

ORIGINAL: Our nation was founded on protest. Period. Regardless of how you feel about it, it's a FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT.

Many veterans support Kaepernick's protest. I read recently that he was told to kneel rather than sit it out as it was more respectful.

Our President can have an opinion about this situation - but to say someone should be FIRED? Again - FIRST AMENDMENT.

And it's not about the flag. Here's an old white guy, Gregg Popovich, Coach of the San Antonio Spurs talking about what taking a knee actually stands for, not the spin people put on it.

I don't watch much sports, neither does my son. But if he asks me, I'll tell him what I said here.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Appleton on

My daughter lost everything in Hurricane Harvey, the Florida Keys are in a shambles from Irma, Mexico has had 2 Major Earthquakes, Porto Rico is destroyed from another Hurricane ... The fires in the Pacific Northwest
My sweet 12 year old Pomeranian crossed the rainbow bridge last Thursday, 9-21-17.
I have been concentrating my time and energy helping my daughter recover and find a way to grieve my dog and honor her memory.

Picture yourself as a Mom in the 1960's or before and how you would explain the riots and the hanging of black men and the bus boycotts. This is nothing.

What is the media hiding from us and getting every riled up about a peaceful protest? Why have all the news outlets suddenly stopped reporting the storm damage, fire damage and Earthquake damage and suddenly blasted us with a peaceful protest?

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

The same people who criticize the players for kneeling will not criticize Trump for claiming 'bone spurs' to avoid the draft. When asked 'which foot', he couldn't remember and I don't think bone spurs just disappear; he did okay playing football and basketball with them. They also don't criticize that his boys never served in the military. They also forget during GOP debates Trump didn't place his hand over his heart during the national anthem and there was a day (I don't remember when), Melania had to remind him to put his hand over his heart. They were standing on a balcony, so it may have been during a time at the Capitol (inauguration maybe??).

This is also a man who will not criticize Putin but will criticize those here in the USA who want everyone of us treated the same. God said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". If we all practice that, what a peaceful USA/world we would have.


The same people who criticize the players for kneeling will not criticize Trump for claiming 'bone spurs' to avoid the draft. When asked 'which foot', he couldn't remember and I don't think bone spurs just disappear; he did okay playing football and basketball with them. They also don't criticize that his boys never served in the military. They also forget during GOP debates Trump didn't place his hand over his heart during the national anthem and there was a day (I don't remember when), Melania had to remind him to put his hand over his heart. They were standing on a balcony, so it may have been during a time at the Capitol (inauguration maybe??).

This is also a man who will not criticize Putin but will criticize those here in the USA who want everyone of us treated the same. God said, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". If we all practice that, what a peaceful USA/world we would have.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Funny - my daughter and I had a somewhat heated discussion about this this weekend (well, she was heated, I just agreed to disagree).

As a military mom, I choke up every time the national anthem is played. I can't help it. So it is somewhat difficult to watch the knee thing (or staying in the locker room, or whatever). However, I believe that my kids are fighting for the freedom to do exactly what is going on so it is more of a sadness when I see it than anger or feeling it is disrespectful. However, it still completely chaps my a** but for a different reason.

If I decided to take a knee (or some other widely recognized and publicly controversial sign of silent protest) before I met with each of my clients, I'd be out of a job. Yep, my boss might agree with my taking a stand, and he might not, but he wouldn't let me do it on the job. Why are football players any different? When they are playing, they are "on the job." My ticket money pays their salaries. My consumer consumption of the items they are promoting or for which ads are playing during the games is paying their salary. Essentially, they are on the clock when they walk on to the field. Why can't they have their silent protests when they are on their own personal time? Cameras follow them around everywhere, so it isn't like it wouldn't be seen by folks. If they staged a silent protest in front of the Capital, millions would watch it on TV or in person. I don't feel like anyone else gets to do this on THEIR job, what makes these pig-skin catchers so special. Even movie and TV people can't just randomly go off script in the middle of a movie or TV show and do a silent protest.

I get that they are doing it during the national anthem and that probably isn't playing while they are at the grocery store, but honestly that is just a tie that really means whatever they want it to mean. How about every time they see the flag instead? They could kneel each time they drive by a Perkins.

Just my two cents.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I don't get it at all. Yes the president is the commander and chief of the military but I still don't see how taking a knee at a game has anything to do with him. He's not who the flag represents. Yes I do see it as disrespecting out men and women that have fought for our freedom but they fought so we have the freedom to take a knee.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

I did have a conversation with my kids on this. I explained that these players absolutely have the right to kneel, but that there's a time and place for everything and that I question the wisdom of them choosing this time. I absolutely realize that there are still racial issues in this Country and we do need to talk about it.

That being said, I do feel that this is incredibly disrespectful. These players are getting paid to put on a uniform and play a game. This is their job and they are representing their team. I don't believe that you could go to any other job and wear the uniform and make a stand about your political beliefs. I think this shows a really bad example for young children.

I am NOT a Trump fan. Although I do agree with his basic sentiment about these players being disrespectful, I also think he handled it poorly. Calling names is unprofessional and not very Presidential. Someone please tell me when someone is going to take away his Twitter account! The man is unstable!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I believe they have the right to take whatevery political stance they want. BUT I do believe the league and team have the right to expect their players to show respect to American and our flag. I think the guy who kept his team inside until the anthem was over has the best idea of all.

Let all these sports players go buy time on TV and host panels and go on talk shows, start a discussion against anything they want. But disrespecting our country has completely turned me against them AND what they're protesting about.

Just like a celebrity who takes their time when they win an award and they blast the president or tell us what we should like or dislike or think like, they have no more sense than me, they are no more special then the next movie they get a part in. They are one movie away from a flop and an ended career.

These players have no status in my life and what they're doing is insulting as far as I'm concerned. I'd actually listen to what they had to say if they said it at an appropriate time.

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answers from San Francisco on

There's really nothing to tell, unless your kids are on social media, and of course if they are they should be old enough to understand what's going on.