While the conversation around kneeling during the national anthem has focused on the NFL and Colin Kaepernick, many are starting to #TakeAKnee outside of sports. From the cast of “Star Trek: Discovery” to the faculty at Georgetown Law, folks from various professions are exercising their first amendment rights.
A few hours after the series premiere of “Star Trek: Discovery” on CBS Monday, Sept. 25, lead actress Sonequa Martin-Green kneeled with castmembers and executives.
The former star of “The Walking Dead” is no stranger to demonstrations, as she sees the diversity on “Discovery” as a form of activism.
“Now we’re seeing it come to the surface, seeing it come to the light,” Martin-Green told TV Guide Sunday, Sept. 10 of the racial tensions bubbling in America. “That’s necessary because you have to accept it … Storytelling — art in general — it is a mirror to society. Hopefully, life will imitate art, in this case. Hopefully, we turn that quote on its side. … Right now, we need this show. We are a form of activism, and I couldn’t be more grateful to be involved.”
Another TV cast taking a knee is that of “Grey’s Anatomy.” The long-running ABC series is gearing up for the premiere of its 14th season Thursday, Sept. 28 and they’re also standing against oppression.
“We kneel because we are supposed to be one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” wrote Ellen Pompeo, who plays the drama’s central character, on Instagram Tuesday. She and prominent activist-actor Jesse Williams, creator Shonda Rhimes and actress/director/executive producer Debbie Allen took a knee on the set of the show’s 300th episode.
Pompeo’s post comes just days after Williams went on MSNBC Live and explained why patriotic football fans shouldn’t be riled up about so-called disrespect to the national anthem.
“This has nothing to do with [the] NFL, or American pastime, or tradition,” he said after calling “The Star-Spangled Banner” performances a scam. “This is to get boys and girls to go fly overseas and go kill people. They’re marketing.”
It’s not just entertainers who are protesting. The #TakeAKnee movement has spread to educators and scientists, too.
The Spread of #TakeAKnee
Faculty at Georgetown Law on Tuesday knelt in protest of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ remarks on free speech.
Georgetown Law faculty arrives to take a knee in protest of Sessions' appearance on campus. pic.twitter.com/aOEaUgAQAJ
— Will Racke (@hwillracke) September 26, 2017
Law professor Heidi Li Feldman tweeted a letter from instructors Monday condemning Sessions’ visit.
“I have never seen a faculty so quickly and so numerously object to any speaker coming to campus, let alone an Attorney General of the United States of America,” Feldman told The Huffington Post. “It is insulting to the community, to the idea of freedom of expression, and therefore to the very point of a law school, which is supposed to be communicating uncontested legal values.”
In another corner of education, scientists are using #ScientistsTakeAKnee to stand in solidarity with the Black community against police brutality and racism.
— Becky Rodriguez (@beck_ayeee) September 26, 2017
— Veenemalab (@veenemalab) September 26, 2017
— Lily Cohen (@lilyofthepingo) September 26, 2017
Black scientists applauded the effort. However, scientists also wanted the spotlight to focus on the ways the community can improve diversity and inclusivity.
— Ifeyinwa Asiodu 📚 (@IVAPhD) September 26, 2017
to make sure that my department is a place of inclusion
— Tia Martineau (@tia_martineau) September 26, 2017
— Caleph B. Wilson (@HeyDrWilson) September 26, 2017