Will Wayne Simmonds take a knee?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 08: Wayne Simmonds
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 08: Wayne Simmonds /

A writer offers her thoughts regarding the news that Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds is considering kneeling during the national anthem.

I remember the day that Wayne Simmonds became a Philadelphia Flyer, along with Brayden Schenn. I belong to a number of Flyers Facebook groups, and one member posted a picture of Simmer between Schenn and Jakub Voracek titled ‘Flyers Golden Oreo’. I was furious beyond words, and unleashed a profanity laced personal blog on the subject. Simmonds has had more than his fair share of racism thrown his way; a banana on the ice in Montreal, attacks on Twitter and other social media. It sickens me that this still takes place, as a fan, a human being, and as the mother of a mixed-race child.

Must Read: Flyers cut Vecchione and Vorobyev

It would seem Simmonds is prepared to take a stand, while perhaps taking a knee, on opening night in San Jose. In a piece on sports net.ca, SImmonds says he may kneel during the National Anthem. Simmonds has earned the respect of the majority of the League, is the reigning All Star MVP, and he has captured the hearts of Flyers fans with his gritty play and no quit attitude.

Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers /

Philadelphia Flyers

Social media in the Philadelphia area is abuzz with disgust at the peaceful protests that have taken place in the NFL recently; talks of boycotting the rest of the Eagles season are all the rage. I personally have stayed silent on the topic for the most part. I am not a football fan, I am loyal to Lord Stanley and bleed Orange and Black, but I am shocked at the response to peaceful protest that is meant to draw attention to racial inequity and police brutality. So much is said of professional athletes- that they need to be held to a higher standard, be good examples for our youth.

Now, a group of these men are risking million dollar careers to stand up for the children of color who DON’T make millions, children like my son. Men like my husband. My son, who cut off his hair when he was five because he had been called a racial slur that I can’t repeat on this blog- he cut off those curls in hopes that he would look more like his white classmates. My husband, who was an executive with a well known national bank, who was called ‘boy’ on a regular basis; pulled over, handcuffed and frisked in front of his wife and son, simply because he was an African-American man driving a brand new car with a white woman in the passenger seat.

These men are risking their jobs kneeling, drawing attention to the racism that still exists, to start an honest conversation that the current President does not want to engage in. A conversation that needs to take place in this country, because despite popular opinion, racism is living, breathing, and thriving in the United States.

Next: Flyers-Rangers recap: A tale of two Travises

I have to wonder if Wayne Simmonds will kneel; as a leader, I believe he will. He is one of the finest athletes that has ever graced any Philadelphia sports team. As such, I will stand by him if he kneels, and I will stand by him if he doesn’t.