[Ads-l] Query: "take a knee"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jan 1 02:22:28 UTC 2019

BGZ: "taking a knee' came to refer to various situations on the field where
a player ends a play by intentionally kneeling, thus _downing the ball_."

When the kick-off carries into the end-zone, if a player receives the kick,
he can choose to run the ball out of the end-zone or to _take a knee_ by
genuflecting so that one knee touches the ground in the end-zone, thereby
ending play by downing the ball, which is then given to the nearest
official. The ball is then downed for play by being placed on the 25-yard
If the player chooses not to take a knee, then he carries the ball out of
the end-zone as far as he can, before being tackled. Sometimes, the
ball-carrier is tackled as soon as he leaves the end-zone. Sometimes, the
ball-carrier is not tackled at all and he runs for a touchdown.

On Sat, Dec 15, 2018 at 12:43 PM Cohen, Gerald Leonard <gcohen at mst.edu>

> I've received a query: Why do we say "take
> a knee" (e.g. of football players)?  In what way is
> a knee "taken"?
> Would anyone have an explanation?
> Gerald Cohen
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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