Iowa is the first state to resume highschool sports after the COVID 19 shutdown. And during their seasonal opener, the entire team took a knee during the National Anthem to show support for the ongoing protesting against social injustice and racial inequality.
One of the players believes taking a knee isn’t disrespectful.
“No disrespect to the flag. It’s simply to bring attention to the issues at hand, and I think we did the right thing,” Roosevelt senior Alex Pendergast told CNN affiliate WHO.
According to this article by CNN:
The team’s leadership stands by its players kneeling, Roosevelt High School Activities Manager Tracy Johnson told WHO.
“It made me feel good because our kids are in it together,” Johnson said. “We want those kids to be able to express themselves, and it was neat for us to see all of our kids do that.”
Iowa is the only state that has summer baseball and softball, which explains why they’re the first sports to resume.
“Iowa was indeed the first state to resume high school baseball and softball competition, effective yesterday,” said NFHS Manager of Media Relations Cody Porter. “Additionally, there were guidelines implemented to practice social distancing between fans, coaches, umpires and administrators.”
The article did not report if anyone voiced concern over the kneeling.
When professional players in the NFL and NBA have taken a knee it has caused a lot of negative feedback. Many Americans are offended when athletes take a knee to the flag.
As sports open back up this is a trend that will surely sweep the fields and courts.
The question is, does taking a knee cause more harm than good?
Many that support kneeling say it is a sign of reverence, submissiveness, deference—and sometimes mourning and vulnerability. That it is far more respectful than turning your back on the flag which would be a sign of true disrespect.
When Colin Kaepernick of the 49ers started this trend in 2016 it drew widespread outrage.
Standing during the National Anthem has become America’s way to show respect for our flag. So it’s understandable that it would offend many who love this country. To them it isn’t about a cause, it’s about showing respect to so many who have fought and died for the freedoms we have today.
It also prompts us to question, what is this teaching these young athletes? Are they having a real conversation about what it means to kneel before the flag? Are they having a conversation about why we stand during the National Anthem and put our hand over our hearts? What are we teaching our young about the pride of America and the sacrifices many have made for all of us.
And who made the decisions to kneel? Did the coaches suggest it? Did the athletes suggest it? Do the parents approve of them doing this?
It’s hard to believe in a time of great division that this gesture isn’t somehow driving the deep divide between Americans even deeper.