A Georgia state trooper—who also happens to be black—refused to bow his knee during a recent Black Lives Matter protest in Hartwell, Georgia.
In response to a crowd harassing him for not kneeling like the rest, the officer, O’Neal Saddler, made it clear that while he means no disrespect, he only kneels for one person: God.
“If I didn’t have any respect, I was supposed to be out of town this weekend with my wife,” O’Neal explained in a brief video clip that has since gone viral on Twitter. “I took off today, this weekend, but I’m out here to make sure y’all are safe. So don’t go there with respect. I have much respect, but I only kneel for one person: God, God, God.”
The 18-second footage has since made its way across all social media platforms, though it’s unclear precisely when the remarks were made.
Pro-athletes, police officers and politicians alike have been kneeling alongside protestors across the nation since the gruesome and untimely death of George Floyd.
To many protestors, it represents the nearly 10-minute stretch for which Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin clamped his knee on George Floyd’s neck until Floyd died. Chauvin has been fired and charged with manslaughter and second-degree murder.
The act of bowing a knee took a significant controversial turn last week when New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said “I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America, or our country,” in an interview that sparked nationwide outrage.
The NFL star has since apologized twice for the “insensitive” remarks he made, admitting he “completely missed the mark on the issues we are facing right now as a country.” Brees’ wife Brittany even issued her own apology the day following her husband.
President Trump chided the QB, tweeting, “he should not have taken back his original stance on honoring our magnificent American Flag.”
What’s your stance on bowing a knee for George Floyd? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.