What is different about these football players kneeling during playing of nat’l anthem?

What is different about these football players kneeling during playing of nat’l anthem?
Orlando Gooden (Image: LinkedIn)

Let us count the ways. For one thing, it was the entire team, not just a handful of players who took a knee. For another, the organization is not part of the NFL, so the story is not likely to be as widely reported as the one about members of the Seattle Seahawks defense raising a single fist — the symbol of black power — after sacking the opposing quarterback last Sunday.

For yet another, the team coach, who is himself black, also took a knee out of solidarity with his players.

Perhaps the most salient — and disturbing — difference between this protest and others that have occurred since poster boy for racial oppression Colin Kaepernick first decided to remain seated during the playing of the national anthem is the age of the players: eight and under.

St. Louis Fox affiliate KTVI reports:

“One of the kids asked me if I saw [people] protesting and rioting in St. Louis. I said yes; I said, ‘Do you know why they are doing it?’” said Coach Orlando Gooden.

Coach Gooden said his player responded, “Because black people are getting killed and nobody’s going to jail.”

That was good enough for Gooden, who played football at the University of Missouri. “I felt like it was a good teaching moment,” he said, adding presumably with a straight face:

What I teach my kids is love, integrity, honesty, fairness, respect and boundaries.

Honesty? Fairness? Does he genuinely believe that the myopic and distorted analysis his young player provided is a fair and truthful characterization of race relations in America today? Does he not recognize the harm is doing by confirming the childish view (held by many adults) that the police and white people as a whole are the sworn enemies of blacks?

It gets worse. According to KTVI, parents supported the coach’s decision.

The station has a phone interview with Gooden. It is contained in the video that follows:

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer.


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