Even A British Republican Would Still Muster A Curtsy For The Queen

By ilana mercer

“Taking a knee” stands for the specter of beefy, pampered athletes—they’re not sportsmen—wealthy beyond belief, striking a political pose on the football field, during the playing of the national anthem.

First to kneel when he was meant to stand was Colin Kaepernick. The reason the San Francisco 49er knelt, in 2016: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

Like Kaepernick, current kneelers are not Copernicus. It’s hard to fathom what they actually want. A non-player activist has since narrowed the kneeling to “ending the killing of black men and black women by the police.”

To question the debasing of the English language, in this context, is probably considered racist, but I’ll take one for Team English. At first, I knew not what on earth “take a knee” meant. Commentators and anchors discussed this god-awful expression without explaining it. And my connection to American football is as weak as the connection Americans have to one another.

I grew up on a sports diet of basketball and real football—the kind Pelé played without a dog muzzle and with dazzling footwork. South African rugby, too, was faster and more fun than American football. Nevertheless, I root for my home team, the Seattle Seahawks.

Why so? We all inhabit this busy mart called America, but are united by nothing meaningful at all. The football fetish in America has intensified in the context of a country whose inhabitants agree on little else than the importance of The Game. Consequently, come playoff time, we come together fleetingly and superficially, to make a religion out of our respective professional football teams.

“Take a knee” must have originated in some linguistic botching, a lazy collapsing of alliteratively related words and phrases. I mean, you can “kneel,” “kneel down,” or “get down on your knees.” You most certainly can “bow down” or “take a bow.” But, “Take a knee”? It sounds like an adaptation from “take a p-e.” Actually, I’m not far off. The Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. “had been flagged … for unsportsmanlike conduct when he celebrated a touchdown by impersonating a dog urinating.”

English and etiquette aside, the act is melodramatic. You get down on your knees to pray, to beg for forgiveness or beg for your life. What these N.F.L showmen are doing is strike a pose—choreographed for prime-time television. When the players kneel, link arms, sulk in their locker-rooms, during the playing of the national anthem, they’re acting not as sportsmen but as showmen.

A sportsman used to embody a certain set of shared values. He set an example in his steeliness, resiliency, strength and singular focus. The spoilt men of the N.F.L. stand unafraid in the presence of … what? American moms, dads and their kids?

What we have here are men who belong to a fraternity famous not for good works, but for scandals, excesses and brutality. Ray Rice knocked his wife unconscious on camera, Michael Vick ran an unspeakably cruel dog-fighting ring. Adrian Peterson whipped his son (who probably needed it). Aaron Hernandez and Jovan Belcher committed the ultimate sin. On and on.

The most righteous players of the showy pro football lineup are not those parading their pigment burden to the nation; they’re sportsmen like Aaron Rodgers, Eli and Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady, who give oodles to charity without a song and dance.

To be fair, Colin Kaepernick has recently donated $1 million. It’s safe to assume, however, that not a penny did Kaepernick donate to white families whose sons were killed by cop. For example: Erik B. Scott, a decorated ex-Army officer, West Point grad and Duke University MBA, who was shot to death by Las Vegas cops. Erik’s father, Bill, is an ex-USAF officer and former aerospace journalist, who consults on the topic of police brutality. But while Bill, a rightist, seeks justice for all, the National Football League racists care only for their own tribe. Likewise, the Left awakens to “the epidemic of police brutality in every state of the union” only when black lives are concerned.

The tribalism of “kneelism” sums up the state of the progressive project. Like the Antifa Idiocracy, N.F.Lers are generally not the smartest. Bereft of the faculty of logic or reason, these excitable, histrionic hulks can’t debate or argue effectively. Lacking words or wisdom, the kneelers resort to inappropriate displays and gestures aimed at the self, at self-aggrandizement.

Kneeling is the ultimate selfie, beamed to the country and blasted by the president himself.

In more ways than one, “taking the knee” is like taking a p-e. It’s a waste. It speaks to the inward-looking, ego-driven, vain posturing of the Left and its perpetually seething, predatory racial coalition. They’re bent on extracting something from innocent, ordinary Americans who owe them nothing.

Pontificating about patriotism is probably misplaced. The opening ritual at the taxpayer-subsidized pro football games is no more than a test of manners and etiquette. The Black Lives Matter players are expected to make nice during the national anthem, nothing more: “Stand up straight and don’t pull faces.” You needn’t believe in the song; you just have to be polite about it. Even if he opposes the monarchy, the British republican still musters a bow or a curtsy for the queen. He has the good breeding to respect protocol and the feelings of others.

Partaking in civilization entails knowing there is a time for everything. There is a time for activism and a time to do what you’re paid to do.

Mostly, pro football players are just fools and possibly knaves. Underpinning their cretinous case against “America” is a confusion of category. Kneelers are protesting “a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

A country—America in this case—can’t oppress people; only specific individual Americans can. Erik Scott’s story is the story of the best of America gunned down and rubbished by the worst. Did his father, Bill Scott, blame all his countrymen? No. Braveheart Bill pursued the culprit and the cops who covered for him.

You can’t blame a collective for harm done to you, unless each individual within that collective has harmed you. Seattle Seahawks: There was no need to insult the fans in Nashville—where my former team played the Tennessee Titans—unless each one of them had damaged you in some palpable, provable way.

The Seahawks dissed the fans to show they “oppose those that [sic] would deny our most basic freedoms.” But which fan in that Nashville stadium denied any one of the Seahawk players his “most basic freedoms”? Number and name them or shut up and play.


Ilana Mercer has been writing a paleolibertarian column since 1999, and is the author of The Trump Revolution: The Donald’s Creative Destruction Deconstructed (June, 2016) & Into the Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons for America From Post-Apartheid South Africa (2011). Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Gab & YouTube.


  1. Oh, so THAT’S what it’s all about – stopping cops from killing Negroes. I wondered what it was they were ‘protesting’. So the next time a cop is faced with a rabid Black thug who pulls a gun on him, he is supposed to be timid in his self-defence in case footballers kneel for the Anthem in retribution? Great idea.
    But this Kaepernick bloke was kneeling because “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”? And this happened while there was a Black man on the throne? Weird logic.
    But for once I would have to disagree with you; “We all inhabit this busy mart called America, but are united by nothing meaningful at all.” I would suggest that what unites all Americans, or all patriotic Americans at any rate, is a love for the Constitution. It was that which drove me to obtain a Green Card and obtain immigrant status in the USA ten years ago. I now enjoy certain rights which are guaranteed to me by the Constitution, rather than being dispensed at the whim of some bureaucrat in Brussels.

  2. [quote]”Even if he opposes the monarchy, the British republican still musters a bow or a curtsy for the queen. He has the good breeding to respect protocol and the feelings of others.”[unquote]

    This British republican won’t. Certainly I am not well-bred, but that has nothing to do with it. If I ever come across her, I am more likely to give her a slap, old woman or not. I think you’ll find that’s quite a common sentiment in some parts of England.

    • I would never condone violence towards an old lady, but I do share your sentiments. was at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth, as an infant on my dad’s shoulders, wishing we could go home and get out of the rain and cold. But when I look back at the country she inherited, and compare it to what she has allowed it to become after sixty five years on the throne, I am filled with despondency. I regard her as a traitor.

      • I would condone violence towards people who’d slap the Queen! As for these Americans-their protest is at least half a century out of date.

        • “But….but….but…but….I’m just a little old lady, you wouldn’t hurt an old lady would you?”

          [Gallant gentleman steps in] “Let me deal with the caddish rascal for you, Ma’am.”

          That seems to be just about the only thing she’s got going for her: a little old lady with lots of gallant men around her to shield her from the rightful consequences of her own negligence and stupidity. This works only because we are no longer a mass armed population, and the elites have – understandably – grown accustomed to regarding us common folk as pliant dummies with child-like brains (a point on which, I must concede, they are right). If we can’t be trusted with guns, then we are just overgrown children, aren’t we.

          I think we need to toughen up a bit as a people. Of course, I’m not condoning violence, I am merely reminding you all that people who wish to occupy these positions (and she does have a choice, which she makes each day), must be held accountable. In Britain, we tolerate a Monarchy (and I do mean tolerate, I sense that most dislike it) because we accept the socio-constitutional bargain it implies: that is to say, a royal class fulfil the role of placemen and the repository of authority and legitimacy, in exchange for our loyalty, on the basis that they ensure that the fundamental interests of the nation are at all times maintained.

          That bargain no longer avails us, and therefore no longer applies. The system has been stress-tested and has failed completely.
          We all have responsibilities in this world, and Missus Windsor has fallen considerably short in hers. She has taken the side of the left-liberals in order to save her own status – a fact that becomes increasingly clear as each year goes by and we have to listen to her dreary Christmas speeches. She should not be given a free pass from the consequences of her failures. None of us would be in our more mundane lives. I readily acknowledge that the scope of her influence was limited at the crucial points in history, but that is a point in mitigation, it is not a defence. It perhaps might save her from the hangman’s rope, but it does not acquit her on the charge.

          There are other places around the world where her negligence would not have been tolerated for very long and she would have been out on her ear without further ado – at the very least.

          • In my view the Queen is the custodian of our constitution or she is nothing. True, she cannot intervene in everyday politics, but when it comes to a black & white violation of her oaths (such as the various EU treaties which place us under the rule of ‘foreign princes, prelates and potentates’ as I believe the wording goes), she should refuse point-blank. Instead of which she has enthusiastically embraced each move in the destruction of our constitution.
            In her defence you could argue that she has seen her relatives across Europe tearing each other to pieces in the last century and sees European integration as a means of ensuring there is no recurrence of such bloodshed. But it must have become apparent at some point that this is not what the European Union is about. In any case, she should not be putting personal, family, considerations above her duty to her subjects.

            • I see very little, if anything, that can be said in her defence. Certainly, had she deferred Royal Assent to any of the ratifying statutes, that would have spelled the end of her, perhaps of the House of Windsor, maybe even the Monarchy itself, but that is not a reason to shirk her duty, and anyway, she did not need to put herself in that position. All she needed to do was inform Wilson and then Heath that on no account would she assent to Britain’s accession into the then-EEC, that was her red-line, and if that presented problems for the country, then they needed to find some other way to solve them, which after all is what they are paid to do. Regardless of the short-term injury to British commerce, she would not give up her own sovereignty nor jeopardise the existence of Britain as a distinct nation. That would have put paid to it, as ministers only sign treaties under Crown prerogative and so their entire negotiating position would have disappeared. Or it would have put paid to her. Either way, she would have come to be seen as a hero and her and the Monarchy’s place in this country would have been assured in the long term, whatever the intervening events. I do not understand why she did not take this action, as the very essence of the Monarchy itself was at stake. It is lie to say that people at the time thought it was just a trade association. There was no cover-up. It was known that it was also a political arrangement, as that was part of the argument made by anti-EEC politicians like Powell.

              The only possible defence I can see against a charge of treason is if she can show, through documents (memos, letters) and credible witnesses to events, that she did use her influence to object to the basis of the EEC negotiations and that in the end she decided that it was better to go along with it and preserve the Crown in the hope that some effective form of public dissent would arise later, rather than risk an open constitutional crisis that would put the Monarchy on the line as well.

  3. But, “Take a knee”? It sounds like an adaptation from “take a p-e.

    Far more likely (based on when and where I first ran into it, that being the US Marine Corps circa the late 1980s) it’s an adaptation from “take a seat.” Normally if there was a conference in an environment without table and chairs, whoever convened it would invite everyone attending to either “take a knee” or “cop a squat.”

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