Van Ens: NFL fumbles at taking a knee (column)


Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick stayed seated on a bench in 2016 during the “Star Spangled Banner.” He used this body language to protest racial profiling and excessive, brutal police force against African-Americans.

The mostly white NFL owners blew the whistle on remaining seated or kneeling during the national anthem. They declared such protests out-of-bounds. Before suspending this policy on July 19, of forcing all NFL personnel to stand during the anthem, owners allowed players to invisibly protest by staying in the locker room.

From the start, Kaepernick clearly articulated that taking a knee wasn’t meant to demean Old Glory or spurn stout-hearted patriotism. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of…

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