Gabby asked me last night what the big deal was with Colin Kaepernick when she saw me reading an article about the recent Nike ad. Quickly I explained that he was a former football player that kneeled during the National Anthem as a way of protesting against social injustice. And, he basically lost his job for standing up for what he believed in. After that I watched the “controversial” Nike ad with her. As we watched, I told her that there were people that were boycotting Nike because they believed Nike should not support someone that decided to kneel for the National Anthem. In their minds, Kaepernick’s actions were unpatriotic. Much to my surprise Gabby said she believed that Colin Kaepernick’s actions were disrespectful. After which she studied my face, and body language, trying to determine if I agreed with her.
As a mother I strongly believe that my job is to educate, and, not influence my children when it comes to issues such as this. After all, how can I expect my children to develop their own thoughts, ideas, and beliefs if I am constantly forcing mine on them? With that being said, I totally embrace the idea of peaceful protests against societal injustices. So, to say I nearly passed out when Gabby expressed her opinion is an understatement.
Trying to maintain a poker face (I failed), I quickly checked my feelings and focused on using this opportunity to educate Gabby. As we talked, it became abundantly clear that my fifth grader did not understand the term social injustice so we spent some time discussing things like Black Lives Matter, gender equality, and police brutality. She carefully took it in and pondered what I had to say while asking a few questions here and there. After a little reflection she concluded that she still thought Colin Kaepernick was being disrespectful, but, she also wanted to support Nike, and, thought the ad was pretty cool. This morning, to show her support for Nike, she woke up, got dressed for school, and proudly slid her Kyrie’s on. I am one proud mom!