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Having addressed this insignificant topic more times than I’d care to count since taking over as sports editor in Artesia, I am loath to do so again. However, after listening to the Bulldog football team suffer verbal abuse Friday in Carlsbad, it seems the non-issue is in need of revisiting once more for the sake of clarity.

The Artesia High School football team does not “take a knee” during an on-field injury – neither for that of an opposing player nor one of their own.

That is not a sign of disrespect, as seems to be the common misconception amongst adults who feel it necessary to scream at teenage boys.

Unfortunately, the fact that some teams have decided taking a knee during an injury time-out is a sign of respect has led to the belief that this is a universal practice. It is not. There are many teams in the state that do not kneel during these time-outs.

Kneeling during an injury time-out – and any time-out – is a practice that originated in the sport of soccer, and even there, it is not done out of respect but rather so that athletes who spend 40 solid minutes per half in a non-stop state of motion may rest when given the slightest chance.

As such, the Bulldog football team, which has long been taught that the field of play is not a place to rest, does not kneel.

If some teams have made the decision to consider kneeling an indication of respect for an injured athlete, that is fine and is entirely their prerogative. Other teams, however, have chosen not to cross the practice over from soccer to other sports, and that is entirely their prerogative, as well.

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