NFL National Anthem Kneeling

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 August 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.

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