Over the past few weeks there has been an on-going controversy concerning the kneeling of athletes during the national anthem as a way to protest racial injustice and other hate motivated crimes. President Trump also chimed in on the situation adding fuel to fire by stating that those athletes who kneel during the anthem should be fired. Many claim that the First Amendment, which protects the right of freedom of speech, allows them to protest; therefore, they have the right to do so. However, one may question whether it is appropriate during the national anthem at a sporting event to make political statements. Oftentimes, military members are present and lauded before the sporting event begins. These same military members salute the flag during the anthem as a sign of pride and devotion for the country they love. The athletes who kneel during the anthem seem to protest the symbol which allows them the right to protest.
The irony about taking a knee for prayer, which is also protected by the First Amendment, has been criticized by many members of the media. Coach Joe Kennedy, a high school football coach in Bremerton, Washington, has been placed on leave for kneeling at the end of football games and praying with his players. He is now suing the school for violating his First Amendment rights. Where is the media or ACLU coming to defend his rights?
Professional football player Tim Tebow, who knelt and prayed before football games but not during the national anthem, was also excoriated in the media in which he was told to keep his acts of faith to himself. The media protested vehemently, denying Mr. Tebow his First Amendment right to exercise his freedom to pray, because it was not politically correct to mention God. Perhaps we can learn from these two men and all take a knee for Jesus, who alone can truly unite us in peace and bring justice to all who look upon him.