×

Irv Rhodes: Taking a knee during anthem not disrespectful

  • Mike Watson Images


Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Taking a knee during anthem not disrespectful

I do not see those who take a knee as disrespecting the flag or the national anthem. Disrespecting the flag is burning it, trampling on it, dragging it on the ground, spiting on it or denigrating it in other ways.

Taking a knee while the national anthem is playing is not a show of disrespect, but an act of bringing attention to real or perceived injustices that might otherwise go unnoticed by a vast majority of Americans.

Remember that those same athletes are the ones whose forefathers were super patriots. They were patriots, and after fighting for this country would come home to horrible discrimination in housing, employment, education and other forms of discrimination — even lynching. Yet they believed in the promise of this country.

If anyone has a right to take a knee, it is those African-American athletes who are doing so. Disrespect for the flag or the national anthem, no. They have stood for the flag and national anthem much longer then they have been taking a knee.

This is just one moment in time and certainly does not represent the totality of their standing for the national anthem and taking off their helmets in honor of the flag. If you are to judge this moment in time in a negative way, then I ask you if they should consider all of those decades when they and I were less then second-class citizens and our brothers, fathers, uncles, grandfathers and nephews fought and died for this country but were denied the full blessings of this country.

It is just one moment in time, so do not judge them by this moment in time.

Irv Rhodes

Amherst