"They don't get to play dad," She said. "It's not because they aren't good enough. It's not for any reason other than they are just different than Me and haven't always had the same opportunities. It's like the deck has been stacked against them from the beginning. It's not fair." She shared with me how She had taken these concerns to anyone who would listen (turns out not many would). Not entirely sure what else to do, She had been thinking of a protest...a peaceful, silent, protest. "I'm thinking of kneeling during the Anthem," She stated as Her voice quivered.
I know my Daughter and I know She has a huge heart. I knew that this was no quick decision and was something that She had prayed about and felt that She was being led to do. We talked about the many in our family who had served in the World Wars, in Korea, and in Viet Nam. We talked of the symbolic nature of the flag, and the Anthem and that many would not see Her protest as anything other than a stand of hatred against the country that our ancestors had fought for. Some would see kneeling as disrespectful of those who have served and are still serving (even though kneeling in other settings is a sign of respect, honor, and reverence). I told Her to consider the fact that some would call Her names.. “liberal, libtard, leftist, and any other host of things that I didn’t care to mention. It seems somehow in doing so, folks dehumanize one another, and once we do that then we can treat one another any way we choose to. I shared with Her that even Believer’s could be some of Her harshest critics. Some will have no idea why You choose to kneel so You will be misunderstood. Others know why You kneel but You’ll only be seen as an attention seeker, Unchristian, or unpatriotic and that will mean more to folks than the fact that you realize the injustices in the system You are protesting. Some will liken You to other protests they have seen, even violent ones. You will be criticized, praised, cursed, and ostracized.
“No one truly knows Your heart but You,” I told Her. “And when it comes down to it, You have to do what You feel is best; what You feel You’ve been led to do. You have to decide if You’re willing to deal with the onslaught of responses to Your decision. Simply put, folks have the right to respond just as You have to right to react.” ………. we prayed.
As the team lined up on the infield line before the game started, I wasn’t sure what She was going to do. I hadn’t told Her what to do. It was Her choice. Her right. She stood with the rest of the team and I thought She had decided to remain quiet. When the music started for the National Anthem, She pulled Her ponytail through the ballcap that She wore, and slowly knelt. I was disappointed. No, I wasn’t disappointed in her…I was disappointed that in a free nation there were still folks that She knew that didn’t share in the same freedoms. I was disappointed that in a ‘Christian’ nation there still has to be those who speak up for those who seemingly have no voice. I was disappointed that it seemed there was no other option for Her to be heard. Even if those were only Her perceptions, I was disappointed that perceptions would be such at this time in our history.
Then I heard the Voice. I’m not sure who it was, just a loud voice. It may have been another parent, another coach, another player, an announcer even. I’m not sure and it doesn’t really matter. “Get that ____ off the field! She doesn’t deserve to play!” The expletives were such that I choose not repeat. Some cheered that anyone would finally have the nerve to speak up against such disrespect. Some cheered just because the voice was loud and boisterous. Some cheered because others cheered. It’s interesting that those cheering and those voices assumed they knew everything that my Daughter had been wrestling with. It seems they assumed that somehow this was an easy decision for Her. We had talked of other means of getting her point across and in Her heart of hearts She felt no one had listened. Now, She had their attention but I knew that their attention would easily be drawn away from Her intended purpose. I responded the only way I knew. I walked to the infield line where She remained with tear filled eyes. I put my arm around Her and knelt beside Her……….. and we prayed.
this is not a true account....just what's on my heart