Photo credit (Matt York/AP)
By Atiba Madyun
Last night, an NFL team that’s been tagged for years “America’s team” did something with their coaches and team owner that no one imagined they would do. They took a knee.
Because one person, Colin Kaepernick last year took a courageous step to sit during the national anthem. After talking to a navy seal, he decided peacefully #takeaknee to protest the social injustice going on in the way of police brutality.
His peaceful protest asking that the nation look on the American issue of police brutality cost him his job. In the process it started a national conversation. It’s led to the boycotting of games by some.
It also created a firestorm of controversy by many who say its disrespectful to the men and women in uniform and those who’ve graciously and courageously served our country.
Controversy often leads to yelling before we get to the conversation.
Last night and this morning I’ve been reading and commenting on both liberal and conservative friends timelines. Some are criticizing the symbolic gesture of unity for equality because the Cowboys knelt before the anthem and not after.
What I see, hear and feel is HATE on both sides.
What I saw last night were American men of multiple ethnicities, Black, White, Hispanic and Latino lock arms with each other. Their coaches joined and so did the owner who has been an outspoken critic of the gesture.
Want to know what that was?
President Trump’s statement Friday night lit a fire and moved an entire team to say timeout! It moved a conversation forward that one man started.
Instead of criticizing the team for standing after kneeling, consider the images we saw this week that Eric Holder posted that made its way around the internet of Dr. King and others taking a knee.
We’ve come too far now to turn around. The way forward is together. If we spend too much time criticizing instead of encouraging we lose time needed to save the lives of people being killed by the police.
We lose time needed to save children of immigrant families from being deported.
We lose time addressing the issues of social justice in America.
What the Dallas Cowboys team did last night before a national audience is move a conversation onto the international stage. They also may have made it possible for other teams, their coaches and owners to do the same thing.
When Dr. King and others took their knee in prayer, I believe they were asking God for help. Asking God to send more people not just Blacks to their side asking God for deliverance.
It may not look the way you want. Last night didn’t win the war. But it was a victory on the battlefield nevertheless. Imagine what we can get if we use encouraging words instead of negative ones. Who else may join the fight.
Sun Tzu said, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”
The strategy should be to win as many people to your side. The Dallas Cowboys just opened the way for others to join the cause.
Want to know why they took a knee? To show unity for equality.
Why isn’t that enough? Win them over compliment them for what they did and stop pushing Hate.
Someone has to take the higher road the one less traveled.
What do you think?