The discussion around kneeling during the national anthem often leads to tension-filled situations. The continued push for social justice has fueled these conversations as the intent for kneeling is rooted in that notion. Former Dallas Cowboys great Michael Irvin recently chose to discuss his stance on the matter.
Controversy remains around kneeling during the national anthem
Since Colin Kaepernick chose to kneel during the national anthem in the 2016 season, it’s remained a hot button issue.
Throughout the last few years, the intent of the action has become lost in the mud. Those that choose to kneel want to bring attention to the social injustice that the black community and other people of color continue to deal with in the United States.
The message has become misconstrued that it is disrespectful toward the American flag and the military, but it’s never been about that. The lingering tension lies directly with that misconception, leading the conversation entirely astray from the reasoning for why those choose to kneel.
Hall of Famer Michael Irvin has now aired his stance on the entire situation and why he chooses to stand during the national anthem.
Michael Irvin reveals the emotional reason why he will always stand during the national anthem
Over the last few years, many have weighed in on the hot button topic of kneeling during the national anthem.
Former Dallas Cowboys great Michael Irvin recently gave his stance on the discussion, voicing that he has no issue with those that choose to kneel. According to The Dallas Morning News, he expressed that he has always stood and will continue to stand during the anthem due to a specific emotionally-driven reason.
“I’ve always stood — and listen, I’ve taken on this new meaning since I started doing Thursday night football and I saw guys come out, you know, doing the national anthem and we used to have the wounded warriors come out,” Irvin said. “I’ve seen guys with one leg, one arm, and you see their pride when they go out there and hold that flag when they stretch it across the field. That touches me.
“I’m telling you, every Thursday night, where I sat there and shook every one of those guys’ hands. I held back crying, because you see them and it was like they were trying to show their kids, ‘this is why mom or this is why dad is handicapped. This is what it was all about.’ I get emotional just talking about it. From that standpoint, I’ve always said I would stand.”
Irvin’s reasoning is tied directly to seeing wounded soldiers stand during the anthem. Although there is an emotional connection with his decision, there isn’t criticism toward those that kneel.
The Hall of Famer also added that he understands and supports those that go that route. He hopes that there can one day be a more significant push toward resolving social injustices issues rather than tension over a person’s decision to kneel.
Focus remains on social justice
The last several months have seen an increased push across the landscape of sports to bring attention to social injustice.
The NBA and NFL, led by their players, have been the most vocal concerning the ongoing issues. The leagues have used their tremendous platform to bring greater attention and economic aid.
Although there has been progress behind the increased scrutiny and actions in helping those efforts, there remains much tension. The act of kneeling during the national anthem is still prominently a much-debated topic.
Despite all that, many more involved in the world of sports will discuss this matter to bring attention to the bigger picture issues in hopes of creating much-needed social change.