Letter: Taking a knee is a sign of respect

When did kneeling become disrespectful? People kneel when they pray. Football players “take a knee” when listening to a coach and when another player is injured. Kneeling is a signal of reverence and submission to a higher power.

So I don’t understand why some are outraged when athletes kneel during the national anthem. Those who do so are expressing concern about injustices in our society.

“Speaking out” about injustice is what patriots in our democracy do regardless of the harm they suffer. Colin Kaepernick, formerly of the NFL, has lost significant professional opportunities simply for kneeling during the national anthem to acknowledge injustices.

If you are outraged by those who take a knee during the anthem, ask yourself whether race is a part of your reaction. Does it matter that the majority of kneelers are black? If you are white, are you truly aware of the experiences of black Americans? We are all limited by our own experience of the world, but we can do more to listen to and learn from others about how the world treats them.

I believe that those who kneel during the anthem are showing the utmost respect for our flag and Constitution and that they are engaging in a patriotic act by protesting injustice.

Suzette Astley

Mount Vernon

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