There are many opinions about NFL players and fans kneeling for the national anthem. There are two sides to every story and even many more opinions to that go along with those sides.
If you would like to read about others point of view on this issue, visit the following stories as they express two different outlooks.
Kneeling Not Disrespectful
By Faith Andrews
Over the past month, there has been a lot of chatter about the NFL and its relationship with the National Anthem. There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding this topic, so I would like to clear up a few misconceptions for those of you trying to form an opinion. Let’s start with the Colin Kaepernick story.
Here are the facts: On Aug. 26, 2016, it was brought to the country’s attention that, San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, was and had been sitting during the National Anthem for the past two games. Two days following this news break, Kaepernick met with the press to address his reasoning for sitting:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”, said Kaepernick. “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Kaepernick continued by saying he had great respect for the military, but continued to stress that our country is not giving freedom, justice, or liberty to everyone; specifically people of color. On September 1, 2016 Kaepernick continued his protest by kneeling during the National Anthem.
Throughout his protest, Kaepernick received a great amount of backlash, as well as some support. Other NFL players across the country showed their support of Kaepernick by kneeling as well and speaking out against the oppression people of color face in this country.
A year later, it seems as if the meaning of this protest has been lost. Just two weeks ago, our president, Donald Trump, took to twitter to defend the country and the flag. Trump made it clear that any NFL player who wants to make millions of dollars should not be allowed to disrespect the flag or the country and should be fired if they do so. This prompted a large amount of NFL players to protest by taking a knee, locking arms, or holding up a fist during the National Anthem. Here is where the confusion begins.
It needs to be clear and understood that this was never about the military or the flag. Throughout his protest, Kaepernick reiterated that his protest was not aimed to disrespect the men and women who fight in the military, but simply and more importantly to bring attention to racial injustice in America. The men and women who are fighting in the military are in fact fighting for Americans to have a voice and the ability to exercise their right to speak freely.
Many players have since spoken out regarding the large amount of participation in the protest. When these players and coaches are speaking out the words “unification” and “unity” are being thrown around. I am not saying this is a bad thing, but it is just not the point Kaepernick was trying to get across. It is not about uniting a team with different opinions, it is about taking a stand against racial injustice.
At this time, it is evident that our country is in racial turmoil. It is not about sides, but about right and wrong along with the oppression that is taking place in this country.
Faith and OUR Flag
By Meredith Lascallette, Opinion and People Editor
Lord have mercy-I know, but someone has to speak up to these millennials.
Before I get started, remember one word through reading this: perspective.
The US Flag is a symbol of the many freedoms we are blessed with. It symbolizes sacrifices made by brave men and women throughout history in order for OUR country to earn the right to fly it.
“Every part of our history-the good and the bad- it [the flag] represents all Americans and the progress we have made since our founding. All the men and women who have fought and continue to fight to protect and preserve our great nation-I salute you”, sophomore, Clay Griffith said.
The United States flag is part of history, but that is what is great about it- it is history. We can change and move forward and do better. You can not erase history no matter how much you kneel or skip the anthem. If you want change, stand up and make that change, do not give the media more fuel for a fight- it is fighting the wrong thing.
Nonetheless, we have lost our faith in a busy and chaotic world when now is the crucial time to cling to our faith.
“Faith and the flag go hand in hand because we are ‘One Nation, Under God’, and that is the faith from which we are built,” U.S. Army vet. and senior Brandon Fessey said. We ultimately have the right to worship however we choose, but we should never forget our roots.”
If the individuals that kneeled or did not show the flag respect in a different country, they would be killed or punished…how about that for your “need of more freedom or your need of attention”?
“Personally, I feel it is not the correct form of protest. Why disgrace the whole flag, or our national anthem and all the people who protect and fight for it?
“No one will always agree with everything the justice system does or enforces, but to disagree with a part of our current system or history and then turn that into a protest about the whole flag and our national anthem, especially knowing what that means to Americans, is wrong”, Griffith said.
You can kneel or do whatever you want because of the national anthem and the flag of the USA-do you not get that?
Men and women are fighting so we can continue to do whatever we think is “right”. But what even is “right” now, because everyone’s perspectives are controversial and different-perspective.
“I hope to see positive change in our justice system through actual actions with a plan, and I would support that individual to the fullest extent,” Griffith said. “I can’t get behind a movement that disrespects American heroes of all backgrounds, races, and social economic status.”
What are you kneeling for, because the only person or thing I will kneel for is the one almighty God.