Fighting about whether NFL players should be allowed to take a knee during the national anthem is apparently far more important than just about anything else these days. It’s what I keep seeing stories about, hearing statements from the President, from players, from the media, from this person and that person.
And the focus is on what the players should or should not do. And whether the league and teams should discipline their players for expressing their views.
But I wonder, are fans taking a knee during the national anthem? If the fans support what the players are doing, I wonder what would happen if those fans took a knee when the players did. Would the fans be brave enough to do that? Would it get covered? Would it have an impact? There are no rules for fans concerning if they stand for the anthem or sit or kneel or anything. Mostly social pressure to conform and follow what everyone else does. I’m sure the president might devote a few tweets to it, which might actually draw attention to it.
I’m being serious here. Why is everything focused on the players? What about the fans who show up?
I just wonder what would happen if a segment of a stadium started taking a knee during the anthem.
Part of the reason that it hasn’t happened is that the discussion would change. It would no longer be about those high-paid African-American football players on the field. It would be about the fans in the stadiums. And that might cut a little too close to home for people. When the celebrities are doing a protest, it’s easy for people to verbally support it. When you are asked to participate in the protest – that’s different. Or is it? At this point it wouldn’t be about those players. It would be about us fans.
What would happen if fans took a knee? Would the conversation about race change? Would we find some other distraction to draw our attention away from this protest? Would nothing happen? I don’t know, but I’m curious to find out.
Anyone going to a football game? If you are and you support what the players are doing, I challenge you to take a knee at the same time as the players. And I’d love to hear what the reaction is.