No, the #TakeAKnee protests are not 'brave'
Buffalo Bills take a knee

No, the #TakeAKnee protests are not 'brave'

Posted September 25, 2017 12:46 PM by Chris Pandolfo Buffalo Bills take a knee
Buffalo Bills players kneel during the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. Jeffrey T. Barnes | AP Images
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So, President Donald Trump literally brought his political opponents to their knees over the weekend, and somehow the athletes and others kneeling in protest of the national anthem are being paraded as “brave,” which is nonsensical and gives Trump exactly what he wanted.

Let’s back up and review. Last Friday, during a rally for Sen. Luther Strange, R-Ala., the president made an offhand comment criticizing the National Football League for standing by while players like Colin Kaepernick kneel in protest during the national anthem. Playing to the crowd with a comment he knew would be popular (it turns out “make America great again” Trump supporters have little tolerance for people who disrespect the American flag and the national anthem), the president rhetorically asked his audience, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired? He's fired!’”

President Trump was looking for two things — the applause of the crowd at the rally (which would solidify his base), and the mainstream media to overreact to that comment (which would solidify his base). He got both, so on Saturday he doubled down on a winning formula by disinviting the Golden State Warriors to the White House because Stephen Curry was thinking about skipping the traditional NBA champions celebration. He followed that up by criticizing NFL players who protest the national anthem over and over and over again.

That formula — incendiary comment plus media overreaction equals profit — paid off bigtime on Sunday, when hundreds of NFL players and coaches decided to protest President Trump by taking a knee during the national anthem before Sunday’s games started. This is the exact reaction the president wanted. With the latest iteration of Obamacare repeal all but dead in the United States Senate, with the details on tax reform still unclear, with no big wins since Neil Gorsuch, and with President Trump’s Senate candidate lagging behind in Alabama, Trump needed to remind the people who made him president how awful the Left is to shore up his support.

Trump got what he wanted in spades — first with the athletes stupidly disrespecting a symbol of American unity to protest an allegedly divisive president, and second with a chorus of liberal blue checkmarks on Twitter proclaiming NFL kneelers to be “brave” for doing so.

Taking the knee during the national anthem is not brave. At all. What, exactly, are these multi-millionaire athletes risking by doing what’s popular — protesting President Trump — to the adoration of liberals in our entertainment-media complex and in pop culture? Not their jobs. Colin Kaepernick wasn’t drafted by the NFL because he’s a bad quarterback, not because of his protest, and the NFL is not about to fire hundreds of its players (and the coaches who supported them).

Ultimately, they risk nothing except the ratings of people who are tuning out because they don’t want football games politicized. And you know what? When people tune out because of these protests, that doesn’t bring attention to injustices in American society — what the kneelers supposedly want. It doesn’t bring people together. Instead, it just makes patriotic Americans angry and fuels the divisions in this country. Hardly brave.

You want to know what real bravery is? Real bravery is risking your life to save others. That’s what Robert Engle did when he tackled the gunman shooting up the congregation of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ Sunday morning. After witnessing six people in his congregation get shot by a masked man wielding two firearms, Engle leapt into action and subdued the gunman — taking injuries as he was pistol-whipped. In the struggle, the shooter shot himself, and Engle retrieved his own firearm from his car to hold the man until the police arrived.

“He’s amazing,” a witness told reporters about Engle. “Without him I think it could be worse. He was the hero today.”

But Engle didn’t take credit for himself. “The real heroes are the police, first responders and medical staff and doctors who have helped me and everyone affected,” he said, asking for prayers for all those injured as well as the shooter.

Forty-two people were at the church the morning of the attack. Seven people were shot, one fatally in the parking lot, and because Robert Engle risked his life, no more were hurt. Nobody outside that church knew who Robert Engle was on Saturday.

He didn’t act for fame, for a message, or for glory. He took a stand, risking everything, to help people in need. That’s real American bravery, and the American people know it.

Taking a knee cannot compare to the real bravery of America’s Robert Engles, the bravery of our policemen, firefighters, first responders, soldiers, and veterans. The liberal chorus in the entertainment and pop-culture world is upholding a virtue-signaling as virtue. This is disgusting to those who can see through it. And that’s how the Left plays into Trump’s hands.


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Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.