Take A Knee Playing Out in SFF Media

The iconic protest is beginning to gain a following among sf/f TV casts.

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#StarTrekDiscovery #takeaknee

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Congressman John Lewis, co-author of the award-winning March graphic novel series, added this:

I don’t know whether these are the only examples or just the ones I’ve found so far. A few writers also have retweeted others’ photos or added support in text messages.

[Thanks to JJ for the story.]

29 thoughts on “Take A Knee Playing Out in SFF Media

  1. Taking a knee to support athletes or to oppose police brutality is no more productive useful than saying “our hearts and prayers are with them.” What does it DO? How does it change anything?

    I’d have a lot more respect if these people listed above (and all the other knee-takers) were instead standing up and doing something instead of just taking a symbolic pose. And props to those that do, or that have already, like John Lewis.

  2. I would like to see everyone taking a knee make a statement about what exactly they are protesting/supporting. Because I don’t think everyone has suddenly become concerned about police brutality. If they want to express support for free speech or something else instead, they should explain what they are doing. Its very hard to accomplish anything when you don’t have a clear goal.

  3. To Al the Great & bookworm1398,

    “Taking A Knee” is a visible symbol of support against an array of societal concerns and issues. Whether it leads an individual to further action is immaterial. Those who KNOW what the act means are more likely to do more.

    Those who do not or don’t understand need to step up and educate themselves or they can remain ignorant haters. The choice is theirs.

  4. I’m all in favor. Aside from the very real and important central issue, there’s a problem when peaceful political protest is condemned. I’d say Trump is showing his true colors, I’d he hadn’t been doing so for years.

    It’s the other Nazis coming out of the closet that are useful, in letting us know where they are.

  5. I am a hater – I hate meaningless gestures. Saying “Our hopes and prayers are with them” instead of contributing money or time, for instance. I do what I can where I live, if everyone else does the same instead of taking a knee, we’ll all rise.

  6. Al the Great and Powerful on September 27, 2017 at 3:24 pm said:

    I am a hater – I hate meaningless gestures.

    Hard to call it a meaningless gesture when it’s meant to highlight a societal issue and now everyone is talking about it. It’s peaceful protesting that highlights a specific issue, police violence against people of color, and while people might be trying to make it about anything else to dilute that message it’s obviously had significant impact in opening up discussions on the subject. Hard to call it meaningless when people appear to be investing a lot of meaning into the gesture.

    ‘Thoughts and prayers’ isn’t a form of protest meant to be symbolic and highlight or affect any type of social change for anything aside from the fact that you’re trying to communicate empathy for another person.

    Aside from confusing non-violent protest with sympathetic statements it’s also an assumption to believe that the players taking a knee might not be more involved with their community or doing other things in addition to kneeling.

    Not sure if complaints about meaningless gestures are also meaningless gestures, but you know

  7. Al the Great and Powerful: I hate meaningless gestures. Saying “Our hopes and prayers are with them” instead of contributing money or time, for instance.

    Firstly, as others have pointed out, public protest is not meaningless. As was discussed in the thread about arguing with trolls and bad actors on the Internet, the audience is much larger than the person being argued with or whose words/deeds are being protested.

    It’s vitally important that people who are being harassed, oppressed, or victimized realize that they are not alone, that there are people who care about them and support them, people not experiencing what they are experiencing but who nevertheless want to see things changed.

    It’s also vitally important that the people who secretly believe that the minorities who are being brutalized or having their rights violated by some members of law enforcement deserve what they are getting, are not allowed to believe that everyone else in society agrees with them. Silence implies consent. When a large segment of the populace, especially people with a lot of popular influence, voice their objections, the bigots and racists are being given notice that their views are not acceptable.

    Secondly, why do you think it’s an either/or situation? You have no idea what organizations these people are donating their time and/or money to, and what other things they are doing to work for justice in our society. You shouldn’t be assuming that they aren’t doing anything else. A lot of them probably are.

  8. The active involvement of Colin Kaepernick and many other players in their communities is well documented.

    Had much to say. Too tired to type.

  9. Not to mention that Kaepernick knew he’s very likely lose millions of dollars by protesting. And he did it anyway.

    I wouldn’t call that meaningless. I’d call it principled and courageous.

  10. You do as whatever and as much as you feel comfortable doing, and i shall do as much as I can. As it is clear I cannot see the value in them I shall leave the principled symbolic protest actions to the rest of you.

  11. Indeed, despite not currently being on any team’s roster, Kaepernick was just voted Player of the Week last week by the NFL Players Union for his tireless work with the community and his charitable contributions of both his time and his money. He’s started a foundation to teach children about civil rights, and has donated close to one million dollars already this year to a variety of charities–despite being technically unemployed.

    But hey, maybe some random (and presumably white) guy on the Internet (who probably isn’t doing anything in particular for his community) can tell us all how much better Kaep and others could be doing, if only they would focus on what random inactive unhelpful white guys on the Internet think are important.

  12. I’m glad that genre actors have been joining in, and I’m grateful to JJ and OGH for this post.

    Generally speaking, it’s a lot easier to have an activist campaign which “does something” when people are aware of whatever it is you feel is worth campaigning over. Kaepernick has started a campaign that’s drawn a huge amount of attention and so has boosted that awareness considerably. That in turn will have secured support and activism for it from far more people, so even if they did nothing else they’ve probably done more than most, but if American footballers are anything like footballers they’re usually highly engaged with charitable works and community activities, especially youth outreach.

    I hope that the cause of reducing police violence against black men and women isn’t overshadowed by protesting for the right to peacefully protest, although they’re both important.

    (I came across a quite good post on tumblr awhile back which pointed out that this protest is exactly the kind of protest people are always saying is the right kind of protest. Quiet, peaceful, no-one’s in anyone’s face, not at all disruptive, no roads blocked, no shouting, no violence… And yet they’re still getting attacked for it. Almost like the point wasn’t creating “good” protests but suppressing all protests. Especially protests started and lead by black men.)

  13. @Xtifr

    who probably isn’t doing anything in particular for his community

    That might not be the best assumption to make. There’s a sizable minority of activists out there who get sniffy at people they perceive to be doing less than they themselves are doing, whether they’re right or not.

  14. Agreeing with everyone who notes that the players (and others) protesting may well be taking other steps as well: for example, Colin Kaepernick, who started this round of protests, and hasn’t been picked for a team or hired or whatever it is they do, does major work through his charity as others have noted above.

    Here’s a link if you don’t believe them:


    I’d say you should educate yourself a bit more, Al, before hating, before you hold forth based on a position of ignorance.

  15. @Chris Barkley–
    You get two snaps and a YAASS BITCH!!!

    I’ve gotten some relatives noses out of joint but telling them that they don’t get to put conditions on other people’s actions. Because, as we’ve all seen, the goalposts just keep getting moved.

  16. @Meredith: the thought had crossed my mind, but that type usually takes every available opportunity to brag about all their good works while shaming others. With no bragging evident, I felt fairly confident in assuming that we were dealing the much more common willing-to-tell-others-what-to-do-while-doing-nothing-themself case.

  17. Cosplayers Take A Knee.

    More on Colin Kaepernick’s charitable donations.


    Mm, sometimes they hold it in until challenged, too. (I have depressingly extensive experience with them because one of their favourite punching bags is disabled activists and activism.) Regardless, I agreed with the general gist of your comment which was that Kaepernick et al are certainly doing more than most, including most of their detractors.

  18. xtifr, robinareid, Meredith, thanks for pointing out things Colin Kaepernick is DOING. As I’ve said several times now, I am all for actually doing things, not so much for symbolic stances.

  19. @Meridith: Indeed, and your earlier point, that this is exactly the sort of protest people say they want until someone actually does it, bears repeating as well.

    Kaepernick’s biggest crime does seem to be protesting-while-black. 🙂

    @Al: You’re saying this is “merely symbolic”, but symbols are extremely important and useful. Note, for example, that we are communicating, at the moment, via the use of, ta-da, symbols. Symbols, in fact, are one of humanity’s primary tools for communication. Without symbols, communication would be virtually impossible.

    The fact that numerous owners took a knee with their teams after Trump said the owners should fire players who took a knee is a pretty clear message. This is not a vapid “hopes and prayers” statement. This is a dialog!

    Now, you may not be interested in the dialog, and that’s fine. But don’t try to pretend it’s meaningless or empty simply because the only thing going on is COM. MUN. I. CAT. ION.

  20. Oh, and since Trump’s call to fire people went out, this has become more than symbolic for anyone who is an employee or employer. The former (which includes all the actors above) are literally putting their jobs on the line here. The chance their bosses are crazy enough to obey Trump and fire people may be slight, but it’s non-zero. As for employers–like the team owners, their taking a knee sends a clear message to employees.

    The only people I can think of for whom this is an empty symbol are the self-employed and the unemployed.

  21. “Al the Great and Powerful on September 27, 2017 at 1:15 pm said:
    Taking a knee to support athletes or to oppose police brutality is no more productive useful than saying “our hearts and prayers are with them.” What does it DO? How does it change anything?”

    Kind of easy to answer that one.

    1) It helps sharing the burden so the people taking a knee will not do it alone.
    2) It does not leave the public debate alone to those who attach the athletes.
    3) It helps grow awareness of the problem.
    4) It shows that this debate exist not only among athletes.

  22. And I have no problem with people saying “my thoughts and prayers”-statements. Unless they are politicians. Politicians have the power to do something. From them I do not accept the same kind of platitudes.

  23. And I think anyone protesting taking-a-knee as an unnecessary symbolic gestures should first and foremost protest the symbolic gesture of standing up in a salute of the flag. If you are going to attack symbolism, attack the most obvious symbolism.

  24. It’s also worth noting that all of Kaepernick’s charitable activities, while admirable, have nothing whatsoever to do with what he’s protesting. He has no ability to do anything about that. He has no legal recourse except protest. So to say its an empty protest is rather missing the point. He’s not in charge of hiring or firing at any police department in the country. He’s not in charge of training any policemen.

    What Kaepernick wants is eminently achievable; the city of Richmond, CA, just across the bay from where Kaepernick played, is proof of that. But he can’t do anything directly; all he can do is try to persuade people to join him in protesting the status quo, in the hopes that, with enough protests, the politicians will begin to worry about votes, and maybe try to do something.

  25. @Meredith

    Yeah, I watched the BBC interview you linked to when it was broadcast. It was part of their weekly NFL roundup coverage. It is such a contrast to the normal lighthearted banter between the hosts.

    I personally thought the Titans and Seahawks did the most effective protest by both staying in their locker rooms during the anthem before their game. While the pair of musicians playing/singing the anthem did so knelt down.

  26. Bit weird to see the FBI protesting police brutality as they totally rough up flukemen and so-forth all the time.

  27. To Al the Great & bookworm1398,

    Except this is a meaningful gestures, ones whose meaning has been known since last year. And the fact that it has impinged on your awareness, and your irritation with having to think about that issues, would seem to suggest that it has its reasons.

    And you’ll know when the protests aren’t viewed as symbolic. It’ll be when people are screaming that if they want to be heard, they must do some protest that is visible, yet peaceful, like… taking a knee.

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