I don’t know much about football, don’t much care for competitive sports, but I’ve been to a lot of games. Shannon cheered for a few years and Maggie has been in the marching band for three.
When I’m in the stands, I never really pay attention to the actual game. I watch my kids do their thing, and my attention is drawn more to people watching, observing human behavior.
At one of the first Pee-Wee games I attended, I was watching people on the snack line, when I heard a collective gasp! Then the stands fell quiet, and everyone’s heads turned the same way. I followed their gaze to the field.
The players were scattered about on their knees, the cheerleaders were on their knees.
I turned to my neighbor.
What’s going on?
There’s a man down.
Someone is hurt. Everyone takes a knee until they make sure he’s okay.
Isn’t that wonderful, I thought. Everything stops. Everyone’s attention is on the injured person. A show of concern. Compassion. Respect. Solidarity. A reminder that this can be a dangerous game, and any one of these players can be the man down at any given time.
This morning I read that Megan Rapinoe took a knee during the National Anthem. She didn’t do it to disrespect the flag. She did it to show support for Colin Kaepernick. Colin did it to bring awareness to injustice.
Thee are so many conversations we can have about this.
It’s an expression of our Liberty.
It spits on The Flag.
It honors The Flag.
Everyone takes a side. But it doesn’t matter what team you’re on. Those conversations aren’t important right now.
There’s a man down. And when a man is down, the whole stadium takes a knee. Until that man is lifted up.
Open your eyes and pay attention to the game. There are men down!
As long as there are men down, we should all take a knee.
Any one of us could be the man down, at any given time.