I was once a competitive swimmer. I know it doesn’t look like it today. Both US and Canadian National Anthems played before competitions/swim meets. At the time, I was unaware of the political ramifications and, given my disability, stood as often as I could, occasionally sitting because of said Spina Bifida. #Takeaknee

But today, I’d be the FIRST one to #Takeaknee for BOTH anthems, to show respect for both black Americans AND First Nations Canadians who were mistreated and even murdered in residential schools until 1996 and lynched because of their race – which still blows my mind.

I was a white Canadian training hard to compete at Olympic Trials, which I did in early 2000, while other Canadians AND Americans were being tortured and killed only because of their race.

All because they got here before white settlers, who massacred them in both Canada and the United States. I sincerely apologize to every Aboriginal person for my ignorance as a swimmer in not #Takeaknee for them.

Not because I want to be uncanadian or to disrespect our flag. But to show respect for those who suffered unspeakable acts while that flag flew in front of buildings where they suffered and died horribly. I would #Takeaknee.

Colin Kaepernick is a hero because he gave up his career, a lot of money, and to some ignorant people, his reputation to #Takeaknee for what was right and honourable, and recently, many have followed in his footsteps, including white football and basketball players, who will not be named here, as they would face unnecessary persecution for it. For that, I would most definitely #Takeaknee.

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The world can be an ugly place and human beings can do unspeakable things to each other, but I choose to take a stand against it. I don’t speak for anyone on this website but myself.

I am sure my other writers stand with me, but I don’t want to speak for them. As for me, I’m tired of watching cops murder unarmed, law abiding black citizens and I’m also tired of Canada’s cowardly system of First Nations reservations.

Segregation is evil. These people deserve to be my neighbour, not treated like second class citizens, even when they are living among the rest of Canadians.

Those US National Anthem singers, like the ones pictured below, who took a knee to fight for dignity and equality deserve our undying respect and are honourable people.

#Takeaknee

I choose not to get political here. Too many lives are at stake. The world can be an ugly place, but the people who #Takeaknee for what is right and what they believe in and exercise their First Amendment Rights (dammit) are my heroes and make the world a better place to live in.

God bless you all regardless of your race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. We are all better because of you. #Takeaknee.

 

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