In a show of solidarity with the protests by NFL players, members of the City Council in Ann Arbor, Michigan, took a knee during their Pledge of Allegiance.
Why did they knee during the pledge?
Council member Chuck Warpehoski explained why he did it, and why it wasn’t a sign of disrespect in his opinion.
“I want to thank my colleagues who joined me in taking a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance today,” Warpehoski said.
“When I grew up I was taught to, when it was time to say my prayers, to kneel down,” he explained. “When I was in football when my coach wanted me to listen or the team to listen he’d tell us to take a knee. Or if someone was hurt on the field and we wanted to pay attention and to give that situation respect as some of us hoped and for some of us, prayed, that the injury wasn’t too severe. we’d take a knee.”
“People will argue that position is a position of disrespect,” he added, “for me it a position of great respect. And so for my part, taking a knee today was a chance to give attention and hope and prayer that the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, liberty and justice for all, would be fulfilled, they’re a beautiful sentiment, they’re a beautiful aspiration, and they’re an ongoing call for us to keep doing our work more forcefully.”
Council member Sumi Kailasapathy explained her reason for taking a knee, saying, “For me, taking a knee is also showing solidarity with the group of people who have been doing this at the national level.”
Here’s video of the council members taking a knee:
The national anthem protest controversy seemed to reach a climax when President Donald Trump tossed an expletive at those protesting while he spoke at a rally, and the demonstrations expanded dramatically that weekend in response. Since then, the protests have appeared to subside even as more examples from outside the NFL show solidarity with the cause.