Ever since Colin Kaepernick spawned a movement by taking a knee to protest against racial injustice, the very symbolism of the action has been lost. Even Colin Kaepernick had to stress that he never meant any disrespect to the National Anthem by his actions, and that it was a respectful gesture of non-conformity. Taking a knee was an idea that he got from an NFL colleague, Nate Boyer, who was a Green Beret, who advised him how they used to kneel in respect to the fallen soldiers.
His act of defiance was interpreted as disrespectful in many quarters, but with the moment of racial reckoning now mainstream and not a fringe act that it then was, the action of taking a knee is finding back its true interpretation. Taking a knee is about supplication in front of a higher force. For many players, that ultimate force is not man-made efforts against social injustice, but the power of God who shall bring forth good tidings on all.
NFL Players are taking a knee to submit to God
The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills served up a classic game. The Steelers reinforced their heavyweight franchise status when they won 23-16 against a team widely tipped to be Super Bowl contenders.
At the end of the game, when emotions would have been running high on both sides, instead of it devolving into a fracas, players came together to kneel. In taking a knee, they acknowledged what we as fans often forget: football is just a game. Football is perhaps the most consequential among the least consequential things in life.
Recognizing that, the players knelt and held hands in a prayer. Pittsburgh Steelers chaplain Kent Chevalier tweeted out photos of the heartwarming moment.
One can see players taking a knee and bowing their heads in solemn prayer and for once no one minds the players not wearing a helmet on the field as they bare their heads to the sky. Bonded together in a circle, neither the color of the jersey matters, nor the color of their skin.
Ultimately, that is the final purpose of football: to bring people together in a joyful endeavor. To overcome tribalism and enjoy together as we become part of the game we all love. In that moment on the field, irrespective of the score, both teams had succeeded in achieving that ultimate goal.