We’ve got so much time for…
‘[ I’M] NOT GOING to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour.’ This is the simple and definitive reason why former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first ‘took a knee’ during the national anthem back in 2016.
Like the Black Lives Matter movement before it, Kaepernick’s gesture expressed his outrage at police and societal failings. Assuming the quarterback’s signature crouch during the pre-game patriotic display, the player, whose contract was ending, could afford to risk his career, unlike some of his teammates who felt unable to join him for fear of losing their jobs.
A year on, last week his symbolic pose went mainstream with more than 200 players – as well as John Legend, Stevie Wonder and X Files’ Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny – also kneeling in solidarity. So while it’s gained traction, not least because it sent Trump into a foul-mouthed tailspin, with the President claiming that it is unpatriotic and kneelers should be fired, we’d like to give its instigator due deference. Kaepernick’s NFL contract wasn’t renewed in 2017, but he has persisted with his message, launching a campaign to raise youth awareness on interactions with law enforcement. So as the world continues to fall to its knee alongside him, we take a knee along with them.
Colin, we salute – or rather, kneel with – you
Above: Kaepernick and two teammates kneel in protest