SBNation’s André Carlisle is lamenting the decline of athletes kneeling during the national anthem, and he blames it on the long-term refusal of white Americans to dismantle the effects of whiteness.
In the years since Colin Kaepernick began kneeling to “to note the systemic oppression of Black people in America, and the violence and often murderousness of police,” kneeling has lost its original impact, Carlisle whines.
Whites need to demand an equitable country, and they can only accomplish this by confronting whiteness. “The goal was never to make white America kneel, but to make white America notice trauma, violence and death, and to act,” Carlisle argues.
The kneeling has morphed from activism into “a bare minimum show of unity,” and white folks are guilty of making excuses for that. None worse than white national women’s soccer team members.
White athletes use the “tricks of whiteness” as an entitlement to direct the focus of the conversation and not show solidarity with Black teammates, says the imaginative Carlisle. U.S. National Team player Kelley O’Hara did this on Julie Foudy’s podcast Laughter Permitted.:
“For me, I’ve come to a place where I just fully believe that you can stand while also heartily believing that Black lives matter and being committed to fighting for racial justice and making this world a better place.”
National soccer teammate (team members appear in above photo) Carli Lloyd is just as “guilty,” stating after a recent victory over Colombia:
“Players decided to kneel, some decided to stand, and at the end of the day we have each other’s backs. … As a team we had a lot of conversation around it, and we got to a place where we just decided that everyone should do what they felt comfortable with in terms of how they want to participate with the anthem.”
That’s the lamest excuse by a white person of them all, says Carlisle, “because it uses the Black players — the same ones hurting and seeking solidarity and protection through unity — as a shield.”
The SBNation race baiter also says whites like Lloyd and O’Hara are unwilling “to even approach the lowest hurdle, let alone step over it,” adding:
“… Kneeling with Black teammates in front of the world is a signal to white viewers everywhere that the weight of whiteness can and should be confronted, and lessened.”
Carlisle is convinced that racist, white America has long had a problem in deliberately refusing to challenge and dismantle “the very deep and very real effects of whiteness.” This problem is what makes the kneeling debate so draining. It’s been going on for almost five years, and exit ramps “have been built at every evolving stop to give white people a reason to not care.”