- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 14 September 2016
- Written by JASMINE RAMOS | CO-POLITICS EDITOR
Football is America’s favorite sport, and millions tune in to watch during the season, let alone opening weekend. So when Colin Kaepernick decided to not stand up during the National Anthem, it caused a huge discussion of the nature of protests.
Something that I have always found astonishing about American history is that some of the greatest social developments have been advanced with the help of protests. Women, racial and even animal rights have had their breakthroughs in society because brave men and women have voiced their opinions and stood for what they believed was right, sometimes even when the consequences could have been deadly.
And of course, this is the “Land of the Free” and the very first amendment that our founding fathers wrote was the freedom of speech. It sets America apart from other countries, and is the reason why the progression of the quality of life and people’s rights has been what it is and I hope that never changes.
Having Kaepernick take a stand by not standing because of the racial inequality in America has sparked a conversation of the issues at hand. He knew he had the platform to get the nation’s attention and he went for it. He risked his career and having his peers look at him differently for something he believed deserved to be looked at. And now other people have fallen in his footsteps.
Many people, however, have disagreed with the actions of these players, deeming it disrespectful to the country and to the men and women that fight for our rights.
America is a very prideful nation, and has every right to be. We have paved the way to many great steps in technology, business and society as a whole. However, it is not perfect and the way it treats its people is nowhere near perfect either.
In the last two years, a lot has come to light about how the African American community is being treated solely based on the color of their skin. And in most cases, they are being mistreated by authority figures. People have protested time and time again, yet not much action has taken place. So, players have decided to take this opportunity make this their call of action.
Kaepernick and other NFL associates have even changed their form of protesting to instead of sitting during the national anthem, to taking a knee. However, they have not backed down from taking this opportunity to give light to the issues of African American lives.
Some people were offended that this action of protest took place during 9/11. Although I do understand why people could take offense to it, it shows how important this protest is to the players. They stand behind what they want and what they want is for action to be set foward on police brutality.
We have no right to tell people how they feel about a certain issue or deny their experiences. All we can hope for is that people do the right thing and when it is not being done, do something about it. Which is what these football players are doing, by any means possible.
If you push the boundaries in the right way, you can really make a difference. Kaepernick said in an interview, “It’s something that can unify this team. It’s something that can unify this country. If we have these real conversations that are uncomfortable for a lot of people. If we have these conversations, there’s a better understanding of where both sides are coming from.”