Taking a Stand, Literally

Athletes taking to their games to protest the injustices they see in the world isn’t new, it started with Colin Kaepernick when he kneeled during the national anthem at the beginning of the 2016 football season. But as racial tensions have exponentially risen the last few months it seems that more and more athletes are kneeling for the anthem.

 San Francisco 49ers | The Raging Patriot

There is no doubt of racial tension in America right now. it needs to be addressed and solutions need to be made.

Racism is an issue of the heart and mind. There are no institutions in America today that are designed to oppress minorities, well except for Planned Parenthood-which is actively seeking to oppress and kill people of color.

Equal Opportunity in Sports

Professional sports is probably one of the greatest examples of the American dream. To make it pro you have to work tirelessly hard and then some. With unceasing determination, you can make your dreams come true-athletic or otherwise.

Sports do not discriminate. If you are skilled and can do the work you will make the team. In sports, people of every race have all the same opportunities to succeed. Sports is kind of like survival of the fittest, may the best man or woman win. And that’s how it should be. No person should get onto a team (or anything else) because of their skin color, that’s racist.

Athletes Choose to Stand for the National Anthem

In the last few months, teams in nearly every sport have taken their turn to kneel and protest the national anthem, police brutality, capitalism, America, or a combination of all or some of those and other things as well.

 Bruce Maxwell | The Raging Patriot
Baltimore Ravens, photo from newyorker.com

And there have been a few athletes who refuse to kneel for the anthem because they know what that song and the flag really stand for. Jonathan Isaac, Rachael Hill, and Myers Leonard to name a few.

Jonathan Isaac who plays for the NBA Orlando Magic basketball team was the only one to stand for the national anthem and chose not to wear a t-shirt that says “black lives matter”. In response to choosing to stand, he said that he didn’t see how kneeling for the anthem “goes hand in hand with supporting black lives”. Isaac is an ordained minister and spoke on how having a relationship with God will help people to look past skin color.

Rachel Hill plays for the Chicago Red Stars. On June 30 she made a tweet stating why she didn’t kneel for the anthem. She said, “I chose to stand because of what the flag inherently means to my military family members and me, but I 100% support my peers. Symbolically, I tried to show this with the placement of my hand on Casey’s shoulder and bowing my head.”

Miami Heat player Myers Leonard also chose to stand during the national anthem and wore a t-shirt saying “black lives matter”. He stood in line with his kneeling teammates with the two men next to him having their arms around his calves while he had one hand on his heart and one hand on the shoulder of the player to his left.

 Meyers Leonard | The Raging Patriot
Photo from Myers Leonard’s Instagram

On Instagram, he posted the photo and a few others with the caption stating why he chose to stand. He said,

“Today, I listened to my heart. I felt an overwhelming amount of emotion as I stood there during the National Anthem. My brother, and many close friends have sworn to protect this country at all costs, and that means something to me, as does the flag and our nation. The Black Lives Matter movement also means a hell of a lot to me. What has been and continues to go on in our country is inexcusable and flat out wrong. I will continue to use my voice, my platform and my familyís resources to commit to helping make a change. Iím incredibly thankful for the love and support from my teammates, the Miami Heat organization, my family, and friends who know me. They know my heart and where I stand. Iíll leave you with this – itís OKAY to be BOTH. I can stand proud in my beliefs and also support BLM. God bless. ?????”

Myers Leonard Instagram Post Caption

Be Both

Jonathan Isaac, Rachel Hill, and Myers Leonard and several other athletes are choosing to stand for America at a time when being a proud patriot leaves you with a target on your back.

Fight injustice when you see it, and fight to defend the country that allows you to take a stand. You can be pro-America and anti-racism. You can be pro-police and anti-police brutality. In the words of Myers Leonard, “it’s OKAY to be BOTH”.