Paterson misses teachable moment with players taking a knee (Opinion)
New Jersey high school coaches and officials have made it possible for student-athletes to take a knee during the national anthem before games. Last Friday night, the Eastside Ghosts entire team took a knee before their game against the Passaic Indians.
According to abc7ny.com, "Eastside's players decided unanimously to take a knee before every game this season after hearing an inspiring talk from a local social worker about racial equality and the fight for justice."
That must have been an incredible teaching moment to inspire a full team kneeling during the national anthem, which celebrates our country's freedom and what we stand for, and what so many have given their lives for. How many teaching moments did that inspire?
Here's a teaching moment, If you're a teacher or coach, or principal at Eastside High School and your team feels like there's a problem with racial equality and justice — why not have a team meeting and let the players express why they feel that way? Since it's on a local level, bring in police officers and military not to address the team, but to hang with them for a while and get to know them.
If the team gets to know their local police and vice versa, they can form relationships that could help both down the line.
Let these athletes learn that life is all about relationships. Your relationship with your team, your relationship with your family, your relationship with your community. If an athlete feels that there is no hope, perhaps they haven't been put in the position to see that there is.
Taking a knee is supposed to raise awareness to a problem. The next step is solving that problem. Putting these athletes in a room with police getting to know each other and finding ways that they can stand together goes a long way in doing that. It's one thing to take a knee, why not follow it up by taking a stand?
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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