The National Football League has been going through controversy these past months over the issue of taking a knee during the national anthem, a movement started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. This issue has affected people all over the United States and some people do not understand the purpose of taking a knee.
Before Colin started to take a knee he would sit down during the national anthem but he later had a conversation with a veteran named Nate Boyer who suggested that he take a knee instead of sitting down because it would be more respectful to the troops. At the final pre-season game of 2016, Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem. After that day and throughout the season, Colin continued to take a knee during the national anthem along with fellow teammates and other NFL players.
But with racial protests there is controversy and this has the country divided.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, doesn’t like the idea of taking a knee and has added fuel to the controversy with statements in person and on Twitter. At a rally of his supporters, Donald Trump asked, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag to say ‘get that son of a b***h off the field right now’” This comment got the attention of the Commissioner of the NFL Roger Gadell who put out a statement:
The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate a lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.
Trump also tried to get Roger Gadell to force players to take a knee and Roger Godel in a tweet said that he wouldn’t do that, sparking more ridicule from Trump and his supporters.
Saying that kneeling during the anthem is disrespecting the troops has led actual military personnel to speak out on this issue. A tweet from a man in the Air Force said, “I fought so people could exercise their rights as an american #takeaknee”. The #takeaknee hashtag was a trending hashtag on Twitter with millions of tweets. There is also a #boycottNFL hashtag blowing up on Twitter on the Trump side of this issue with tweets bashing NFL players and owners. Ironically, that hashtag also includes people that agree with taking a knee.
My problem is that the people that think that taking a knee is trying to be disrespectful are misinformed. This is a peaceful protest against racial injustice in the United States. Colin Kaepernick started taking a knee because of all of the police shootings of unarmed black men in the United States such as Tyler Wood , Laquan Mcdonald, and many more unarmed innocent people.
Because of this protest, Colin Kaepernick has been left without a team in the 2017-18 season. This is incredibly unfair. Kaepernick continues to speak out against racial injustice and still fights for what he thinks is right.
This is an issue that has divided people but I think that if people were more informed on what the “taking a knee” protest was actually about there would be less hate towards the issue. Some people don’t understand what it’s like to be black living in the States but I’m hoping with time people will become more understanding. This is a very important issue and I hope the NFL players will not buy into fear and keep protesting peacefully.