This month we have been holding assemblies based around Black History Month, with our own Westfield twist of Believe Strive Achieve.
Last week we looked at the example of Colin Kaepernick, an American footballer, currently a free agent, but a figurehead for Black Lives Matter, as well as the recent Nike ‘Believe in something even if it means sacrificing everything’ campaign.
Taking the knee
During a training match Kaepernick knelt rather than stand during the National Anthem, as a protest and gesture of solidarity towards the victims of shooting incidents that had lead to the Black Lives Matter campaign.
‘I’m not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.’
His actions caused a storm, resulting in the termination of his contract. Despite his talent, he remains a free agent, without a team. His principles have lead him to this situation.
The assembly coincided with the birthday of ee cummings, an American poet celebrated for his individualism:
“To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight.”
Both Cummings and now Colin Kaepernick have striven for this nobody-but-yourself bravery, and are an example for all of us.
Kaepernick is now part of a major advertising campaign, that has both its’ lovers and haters. His message is clear:
What would you stand for?