Of course, I won’t be asked if I would make this choice, since I am not an athlete with a chance to participate at the Tokyo Olympics. But if so, I would definitely not take the knee and I take to freedom here to tell you why not.
First of all: taking the knee, basically called kneeling, is at its most positive a gesture of respect, making yourself smaller than the one or the idea you paying respect to. Many animals do this to confirm their submission to a larger, stronger and dominant animal. Speaking for myself: there are very few people, organizations or ideologies worth of kneeling for.
Secondly: I ask myself, does it help any cause to kneel? I really doubt whether it would make a difference. People often refer to the raised fists of Tommy Smith and John Carlos at the medal ceremony at the 1968 Olympics, to express their support for the black power movement and the discrimination of black people in the US at that time (basically the same issue like BLM, 53 years later). But ask yourself if that helped. As well as in reality, does or did it improve that situation, or even in helping to create awareness for the position of certain discriminated groups?
We are already very well aware of what and how that situation is and the fact that it still needs to be repeated 50 years later already proves that making a gesture at the Olympics does not help at all. The people who know and disprove the situation, don’t need to be more aware of it, and the people who support or sustain and keep that situation going won’t change anyway, no matter how many people kneel.
Thirdly: well-intended gestures sometimes have an opposite effect. I bet you don’t remember the 1936 Olympics, but there most athletes, coaches and officials gave the Nazi-salute, they raised an extended arm as a gesture of respect for the organizers. In this case the Nazis whose behavior at that time was, compared to what they had in mind and did later, not dramatic yet. An innocent gesture supported a political movement that turned out to be very evil.
Fourth: Black lives matter indirectly implies that any other lives matter less. If one states: tall people are very smart, this implies that short people are less smart. But I get the impression that there is also a sharp distinction here: black lives only seem to matter if a black person is killed by a (white) policeman. If a black person is killed by another black person that doesn’t seem to matter that much. One example only: I can remember a recent killing of a black security guard by black criminals. A courageous, well-intending, good and innocent black citizen was murdered by thugs, but no outcry from the BLM movement here, no demonstrations, no great funeral. Did his life not matter to black people?
Now think very hard about why this happens. I don’t think the rampages and looting related to BLM demonstrations support the cause. I also don’t understand how stealing a big screen TV or the latest Nike sneakers would to anything to improve the situation of black lives. I think it only confirms prejudice and worsens the situation.
Fifth: BLM is mainly a US issue, not in large parts of Africa, Latin-America, Russia or China, even though black might be replaced by any other color of skin.
Sixth: black lives do matter, but it is not only black people who are being discriminated, what about women (50% of the world’s population, our mothers, sisters, wives, daughters and nurses) discriminated since the origin of mankind, other people with a different color of skin, religious groups, LGTB, political ideologies, etc. Yes, there is a lot of work to do for mankind if we want it to turn into a better place. If I ever would kneel, I would kneel for all the people on this planet being killed, tortured, harassed, mutilated, discriminated, suppressed, degraded, neglected and underpaid.