NFL Protests:  Celebrating And Revering A Grand American Tradition (September 25, 2017)

. . .

K          “Makes you proud to be an American.”

J          “Makes me proud to be an American.”

. . .

K          “Makes me proud to be an American.”

. . .

K          “In 1967, Muhammed Ali refused to be drafted into the Army and kill folks who never threatened him or America.  In 1968, Tommie Smith and John Carlos responded to winning gold and bronze medals at the 1968 Mexico City Games with a silent and stirring protest on the victory stand with raised fists each sporting a single black glove.” 

J          “Never forget that Australian Peter Norman who won the silver medal that day joined Smith and Carlos in brandishing the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR) badge and then joined them in a banishing when each returned to the country he represented with dignity and grace.  A year later in 1969, Curt Flood challenged a different type of draft in Major League Baseball by refusing to be treated and traded like chattel.  In 1970, Oscar Robertson pursued a class-action lawsuit against the N.B.A. that led to the free agency rules applied today.”

. . .

J          “Yesterday, many players and teams responded individually, creatively, uniquely and privately.  Standing and putting one’s hand on one’s heart is the custom and practice and the customary practice.  Sitting on the bench is too easy, casual and non-committal and akin to sitting on one’s hands.”

K          “And no one in sports wants to ride the bench and sit out the game.  What about the team collectively taking a knee which is often a sign of deference and respect and then during the last few stanzas of the Anthem standing in unison, locking arms and slipping hands across the hearts?”

J          “And what about also locking arms with the owners or the police or a few fans?”

. . .

K          “The sinuous route towards ‘a more perfect union’ is not straight and not clear.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Ali (June 6, 2016)”, “The Ali Gedenkschrift/Festschrift (June 13, 2016)”, “Columbus And The Redskins (October 14, 2013)” and “The Confederate Flag:  What Does It Mean To You? (July 6, 2015)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Stand up for those taking a knee

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”  Howard Zinn

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