The most recent cover of the New Yorker magazine shows Martin Luther King Jr. linking arms with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Seattle Seahawk Michael Bennett while also kneeling, reports CNS News.
This has caused some controversy among those involved in King’s philosophy and especially those related to the King family. Alveda King, the daughter of the uncle of Dr. King said that when he father and uncles “took the knee” it was always in prayer, she told CNS News.
The New Yorker’s January 15, 2018 cover story, “Mark Ulriksen’s ‘In Creative Battle,'” features the drawing and quotes “San Francisco-based artist Mark Ulriksen” giving his rationale for his depiction of Dr. King:
“I asked myself, What would King be doing if he were around today?”…
“I’m sure that if King were around today, he’d be disappointed at the slow pace of progress: two steps forward, twenty steps back. Or ten yards back, as the metaphor may be.”
In a response provided to CNSNews.com, Alveda King said that her uncle and her father were both “men of God” who took the knee in prayer and “prayer is stronger even than protest”:
“My Uncle MLK and father AD King were men of God who often “took the knee” in prayer to God for repentance and Reconcilliation during their Christian ministry. Prayer is stronger even than protest.”
Suggesting the Dr. King may not have supported this form of protest, especially with all of the connections to the U.S. military and disrespecting those who served. It’s not clear what the civil rights activist would have thought of the gesture, but I would think people, especially a major magazine like the New Yorker, shouldn’t insinuate that they would have known either.