Letter: Know the meaning behind taking a knee

Published 11:03 pm Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The NFL is gearing up for another season and so are the fans who see taking a knee as unpatriotic.

It began two years ago when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the playing of the national anthem. While I place my hand on my heart and fervently sing the national anthem at such events, I found myself asking, “What’s the story behind the story? What are the cable TV pundits not telling us?”

Throughout history, taking a knee has been a sign of respect and humility.  It was Green Bay Packer Nate Boyer, a former Green Beret, who informed Kaepernick that it is the posture taken by a soldier to honor the memory of a fallen brother.

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Taking a knee was never intended to show disrespect for the flag. Rather, it was a plea for equal justice under the law for members of a minority race, several of whom had been recent victims of police brutality or shot.

Most of us, myself included, have deep respect for the men and women in blue. (I once served as a police chaplain.) Like in all professions, there will always be some bad apples in the basket.

There are currently many issues dividing us as Americans.  Let us not make this one of them.

The Rev. Kenneth Jensen

Albert Lea