Today I enjoyed my nephew’s football game in Chicago. Andrew and Ryan give their all to their teams. I have watched them grow in their ability, but even more in their sportsmanship, commitment to their teammates and their respect for their coaches. Today I witnessed their ability, but even more, moments when their awareness of the vulnerability of sports becomes very real.
More than once today everyone on the field was directed “take a knee.” There were a few kids who were not and the coach clearly and directly stated if you were going to be on the field, you will remove your helmets and take a knee out of respect. It was a powerful picture of the importance of stopping and interrupting the game because something bigger is happening. In these instances, the bigger thing was injury.
The picture of these football players removing their helmets and taking a knee was powerful because it is the opposite of being ready to charge into the game, helmet on and in position. It was meaningful to see. Perhaps it had even more meaning because last weekend the teams were taking a knee for my nephew Andrew who dislocated his elbow and was taken off on a stretcher as well.
I will be thinking this week about the scenes I witnessed today. I will be wondering where in my daily routine I need to take a knee out of respect for what is going on around me. I am pretty sure there are times I am distracted and miss the opportunity to pause and wait, even if I can not offer much to a struggle someone around me is having. There is powerful imagery in the waiting and then the clapping that occurs when the injured (or struggling) is able to move from that place.
I did not expect to experience all that is involved in “taking a knee”, but it is a vivid football memory to carry with me. Of that I am sure!