Lance Kendricks: Taking a Knee for Puerto Rico

October 14, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Lance Kendricks, a tight end for the Green Bay Packers, was one of the NFL players who refused to stand for the national anthem on September 24. It was the first protest of his life.

Kendricks told a reporter that he was racially profiled by authorities when he was growing up in Milwaukee, and understands why other players started the protests. He also explained that when Colin Kaepernick began taking a knee as the U.S. anthem played last year as a statement against police murder of people of color, “I was one of those people who was like, ‘I understand why he’s doing it, but I wouldn’t do it.’ That’s how I felt about it.”

But Kendricks, whose wife Danielle is from Puerto Rico, was jolted to take a stand when he learned more deeply from his wife about the devastation in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria, the human suffering it is causing, and Trump’s sneering contempt for the Puerto Rican people.

Danielle Kendricks doesn’t know what’s happened to most of the 100 or so family members she has in Puerto Rico. She doesn’t know what’s happened with her 82-year-old grandfather, who was hospitalized for 10 days after the storm. She told a reporter, “You think about the fact that he’s just one person, and you have 3.4 million people on this island. It’s really devastating, because people don’t have access to basic needs: water, cash. The power is out, so everything they had in their fridge, they can’t eat anything.”

For Lance Kendricks, hearing Donald Trump denounce football players protesting police brutality against Black people as “sons of bitches” while barely acknowledging the crisis in Puerto Rico “broke the camel’s back.” It is very positive that someone in a prominent public position is jolted to take defiant stands in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico, as well as against police brutality.

These protests must continue, and go further—not only involving more people, but going deeper. Enforcing patriotism, flag worship, and cult of the military is an essential component of the fascist program of “Making America Great Again.” As Revolution wrote last week, “Everyone who is coming to hate and find intolerable the crimes of this system, and the even greater horrors openly promised by the Trump/Pence regime, has got to confront, and break with, the American chauvinism that the Trump/Pence regime and the rulers of this country are using as a key ideological weapon in maintaining their rule.”



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