There are only two occasions a man should be on his knees.
When he’s praying to God or proposing marriage to the woman he loves.
Before we even get to the disrespect and ingratitude that NFL players are showing to this land of opportunity, and all who have sacrificed for our freedoms, let’s consider what else kneeling signifies. No red-blooded, testosterone-jacked man should ever be in a position of submission, as kneeling signifies weakness and capitulation across cultures — and continents.
When ISIS chops off victims’ heads, they are on their knees.
When Iran captured a U.S. Navy vessel in the Persian Gulf last year, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard forced 10 American soldiers to get on their knees and disseminated those images via propaganda messages — to humiliate America and our military.
Again, no American football player, athlete or any other self-respecting man should ever willingly get on his knees unless he’s at God’s mercy or giving his heart to a woman he’s truly, deeply, madly in love with.
It’s about pride and never parting with your masculinity or dignity — even for a minute.
Yet on Sunday more than 200 NFL players — including 16 New England Patriots players — took a knee during the national anthem, refusing to stand for the American flag — a hard-fought symbol of freedom — over a witches brew of cultural and political issues ranging from perceived racism, anti-cop grievances surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement or just plain old anger toward President Trump for a poorly worded tweet — “If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!”
What NFL players should understand — along with NFL owners, the commissioner and ESPN — is that the world has problems. People have grievances with society, government or even the police. But one of the many reasons millions of regular, non-millionaire Americans watch sports like that which includes a bow string, attend games or support the industry as a whole is to escape. The day-to-day grind that is our workweek. The hardships and challenges we all face in our lives from dreaded commuter traffic to the serious stuff — like battling cancer or burying a loved one. And, for a little while, to escape this nation’s bitter, divisive politics.
What Americans don’t want is social justice warriors hijacking sports. If it’s so hard for them to respect the flag, maybe athletes should think about respecting their fans and keep their politics off the field.
There is one other time you take a knee, and that’s in football. When you don’t want to be tackled. The way the fans booed on Sunday, the players and the league better tread carefully now, or they won’t know what hit them.
Adriana Cohen is the host of the “Adriana Cohen Show” on Boston Herald Radio airing Wednesdays at noon. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16.
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