Physician Outlook

Dirty Knees


The editor describes the difference between Tim Tebow and Colin Kaepernick's kneel.

As I was finishing the last of the edits for this month's issue my husband showed me a post he found on Facebook: Remember that time when a black man peacefully protested by kneeling during a song and people lost their fucking minds? Now those same people are in my replies saying I'd listen to the Minneapolis protesters if they were peaceful. Fuck all the way off, they tried it your way!

It seems for some, there is no winning.

I loved Dr. Newman's article Take a Knee. When I saw the FB post, it got me wondering, are there other examples of influential people taking a knee for what they believe in? And if so, what was the public response? Were they villainized like Colin K.? Or were they embraced with open arms?

Enter Tim Tebow. While coming from very different family and socio-economic backgrounds, their shared values are uncanny - both devout Christians, generous philanthropists and activists for important causes, to name a few. Colin kneeled in peaceful protest for social injustice, Tim kneeled for moral injustice. Colin was voted most disliked player in the NFL. Tim is well known and respected for his signature move known as Tebowing. Colin received death threats and acquired distasteful monikers. Tim is invited to speak at churches, schools and conferences.

Could it be that America values a white knee over a knee of color?

If that is the case, it's time that ALL the white knees around here got a little dirty, ALL kneeled in solidarity against racism and other social injustices affecting our great country. We are starting to see some great examples from those with the power to influence our nation's beliefs and attitudes - the athletes and bakers highlighted in Dr. Shruti's piece, Dr. Rowan's Women of Color on the Frontlines project, and just this week the emotional show of support from the Nascar drivers and crew as they ALL pushed Bubba Wallace's car to the starting line.

What if each and every one of us recognized our power to influence? It's there - all we need to do is get a little dirty.

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