Black Lives Matter

Land of the Free…

Land of the Free… Image by Quick'N'Derby.

Taking a knee is something we are familiar with in the world of derby.

There was a time when a whole team line would use it as a loophole to force the jammer release, back in the days of the single and double whistle starts.

There’s the knee drop prior to the single whistle start, giving your jammer the opportunity to draw the out of play penalty on the opposing team who refuses to move off of the jammer line.

Some people have been using it to break the pack after offensive plays.

Then there is the taking of a knee when someone has gone down hard and wasn’t able to get back up right away. This knee in derby is a show of solidarity and respect of the person on the floor.

My Pledge of Allegiance

My Pledge of Allegiance Photo credit: Donna Olmstead Photography.

I could feel my ears burning and my cheeks flush as I heard the announcers introduce the national anthem singer.

I prepared to kneel, acutely aware of the fact that I would be sticking out like a sore thumb, on the track, in front of internationally streamed media, representing my team.

But this is bigger than me.

This is bigger than you.

And it’s bigger than my coerced participation in standing to face a flag for the national anthem.