Kneeling during anthem too divisive for Aggies to accept
In email exchanges I have had regarding Texas A&M University Athletic Director Ross Bjork’s policy on players’ rights to protest, he states his department has had “dialogue” with the student-athletes.
It would seem that dialogue communicated that all forms of protest are equal and acceptable, from patches on uniforms to kneeling during the national anthem. However, many former students like myself, coming from a university with a tradition of service to country, consider kneeling during the anthem unacceptable, as Mr. Bjork well knows.
Therefore, his stated goal to “unify” apparently targets only the players and staff within his department and not the larger Aggie community, since he is signaling his comfort with the single-most divisive act the players at this university could perform. And having approved of that, he then asks the donors and former students to support his program.
On the contrary, where the kneeling has occurred this year, I and others have walked out and will not be back this season, and will continue that for the upcoming sports we have season tickets for. This may not be noticeable with limited COVID seating, but if the empty seats and reduced contributions continue to grow, our student-athletes may benefit from a different kind of “learning experience” than Mr. Bjork wants them to have.