When Colin Kaepernick first knelt for the National Anthem — it was a tremendous deal, not just in the sports world, but universally.
Undeniably, he empowered himself and chose a method to protest something: power to him. Kaepernick caused many different athletes to also engage in this movement and follow his lead. From the 2016 NFL season on, kneeling became customary for a select amount of players, even if they got penalized. Already in 2018 preseason games, players have begun to kneel to protest their perception of racial injustice in America: again, this is America — power to them.
I support their freedom to kneel, not the physical action.
While players should be politically active and contribute to social reform, there are significantly more productive methods to protest than to sit for a song that undeniably stands for liberty. America is the freest nation in the world; we have a constitutional democracy and checks and balance, so no one administration can overtake our democracy. We have amendments to guide our society and various amazing rights, such as the freedom to say what we want, practice any religion we want, marry who we want, and the list goes on. The anthem is not some horrible propaganda piece created to enslave the people. It is a song to celebrate our country, a country that allows NFL players and any citizen to peacefully protest in free will. Try going to the Middle East, parts of Asia, or parts of Europe and protesting social change — then we can talk after you are handcuffed, thrown in a jail cell, or worse, hung.
But okay — NFL players feel there is injustice and want to protest it: fine. But aren’t there greater ways to do so….? Like, for example, donating the considerable amounts of money they make to social organizations, funding politicians they support, funding charity organizations, starting charity organizations, campaigning with a social-reform organization, and the list goes on… Kneeling for a song does nothing to enact change. These players have all these resources at their fingertips and they choose to sit down on a field? The difference between Kaepernick and successful social reform figures like Jackie Robinson, Muhammed Ali, and Sandy Koufax, is that these players didn’t let their personal actions interfere with their business life. These guys were authentic figures for change because they proceeded to play their sport and voice opinions, but not take drastic measures like purposefully sitting for a song that an overwhelming majority of Americans find inspirational and patriotic.
According to a country-wide poll, 72 percent of Americans saw Kaepernick’s kneeling as unpatriotic.
This isn’t just substantial, it’s an outright immense majority. Players believe that there is social injustice and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. They should engage in multiple political activities off the field. Teams have clearly found Colin’s activity disruptive and distractive to their organizations, as he is still a free agent. Teams want guys who are focused on one thing: winning games. Kaepernick seems very interested in social change: great, he should quit playing football and try to dive headfirst into politics. But if he wants to remain an NFL quarterback, a worker in a private corporation, he will have to play by the company rules. He is not rightly protesting racial injustice. Kaepernick claims to be protesting social change and to desire change. But keep this mind: the guy didn’t even vote in the last election! Many people really hate Trump and voted for Clinton or Sanders. But Kaepernick just flat out didn’t vote for anyone — and now he complains about the state of the nation? C’mon.
America is a great nation. Through the various tribulations of our country, our governmental fabric has sustained and kept democracy afloat. The National Anthem is merely a dedication to all of the freedoms granted to the citizens of the United States. Is it really some sort of evil song created to keep people down? If players are unsatisfied with the social fabric, they should take actual measures to contribute to reform. Pissing off more than 1/2 of Americans won’t do that.
What do you guys think?
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