Kneeling during the National Anthem has always been about race

by aisha on December 3, 2017 - 8:57pm

The issue presented in this case is about how kneeling during the National Anthem has always been about race and not about the American flag or the military. As the article mentions, Colin Kaepernick, the then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback started the protests. He stated to NFL Media that he will not stand in pride for a country that afflict people of colour. He started by simply sitting down at the three first pre-season games of the 2016 season, but in respect to army veterans like Nate Boyer, he agreed that taking a knee would be a more respectful posture. The article states that people have been forgetting Kaepernick’s action and have been forgetting that this protest has been carefully chosen even with Boyer’s assistance. 49ers safety Eric Reid, who was one of the first teammates to kneel alongside Kaepernick and who agreed with Boyer’s idea to kneel instead of sit, commented to New York Times on his shock that the protests are still being seen as disrespectful to the American flag even after their careful considerations. The article further states that a study conducted that in 2016, around 70 percent of players on NFL roasters were black and every player who protested was black until white players joined in. By November 2016, Kaepernick explained that police violence is one issue that needs to be addressed in the bigger issue of systematic oppression. However he along with many other players were being severely criticized. Their jerseys were being used for bonfires and as doormats. They were getting called names such as unpatriotic and disrespectful to the country, the flag, and the military. 

Furthermore, the article mentions that a poll conducted in 2016 about Americans’ views of NFL players showed that Colin Kaepernick was the most hated player in the league. Within this result, 37 percent of white respondents said they hated him a lot, while only 2 percent were black. On the other hand, 42 percent of black respondents stated they liked him a lot, which was a huge leap from 2 years before when it was only 16 percent. Eagles wide receiver Torrey Smith told ESPN he understands why people are offended by the protests of the National Anthem. He says his father has served 25 years in the US Army and will be wrapped in the American flag when he passes away. However, he is no longer in the army and he is a black man who still gets racial comments thrown at him. Smith says that does not protect his father just because he served the country in the army. I believe it is understandable why people are offended by NFL players decision to take a knee at the National Anthem especially those who served in the military and their families. However, these players have admitted to have meant no disrespect towards the army, and reconsidered their posture to prove that. It needs to be considered that the issue is not about the flag, or the National Anthem, or the military. The purpose is simply to protest racial discrimination in America. Those who are offended need to consider the careful compromise that these players have put out and understand that the true purpose was never to go against the flag and the military.


Do you think these football players are disrespecting the American, flag and army or are they doing the right thing?



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