Indiana Fever player: Why I took a knee

I have close family and friends who have served this country. My brother in law fought for this country. My boyfriend was in the Navy. My dad is a retired police officer. I would never disrespect them or devalue their service.

My question is: When you stand for something, why is it automatically assumed you are against the opposite. It makes no sense to me. I promise it is humanly possible and OK to be for Black Lives Matter, still support the hard-working and dedicated officers, and know that all lives matter.

I promise it is humanly possible to take a knee to spark conversations/bring awareness and still support our troops. I promise. You should try it.

The bigger disrespect to this country and to those who fight for it is staying silent on these issues that plague African Americans and people of color. It’s easy to sit behind a phone or keyboard and tell me I’m a bad American, or if I hate it so much, I should leave. That only takes 140 characters or less. Standing up for change (or in this case, kneeling), that takes courage. Instead of jumping to conclusions and and believing us taking a knee is a direct disrespect to our troops and those who have fought for our freedom, why not ask myself or my teammates what our ends goals and purposes are? It’s that simple.

A woman came up to my teammates and me while we were at dinner and politely asked us, “I just want to know if your taking a knee means you don’t support our troops? What was the purpose?” She wasn’t angry nor were we. You know what happened? A healthy and informative dialogue among us all. We explained ourselves, she listened, really listened, and walked away saying, “Thank you for explaining everything. I get it now.” Goal accomplished; conversation started.

If speaking up, taking a knee and bringing awareness to issues that directly affect my family and me, makes me a bad American, then so be it. My brothers, my nephew, my dad could easily have been that “big, black man that looks like trouble” in Tulsa.

For those who have sent me hate messages and said you’re no longer a fan, what kind of American are you? How are you attempting to help change this country for the better? I’m also positive if I asked, you’re all the same ones who want “to make America great again.”

I’ve been told to stay in my lane and “just play basketball.” Basketball is what I do, not who I am. I will not be confined to the lines of my sport. Those who expect my teammates and to me to simply play basketball are missing out on some phenomenal and educated women. Women who impact their communities in many ways.

I have a platform, and it would be a disservice not using it.

***

Coleman plays for the Indiana Fever.

PHOTOS | Crowds gather in protest after police shooting


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment