Disrespect or Protest?

by Michael Luker

On August 14th, 2016, Colin Kaepernick sat down during the national anthem, and no one noticed.  A week later Kaepernick did the same thing and no one said a word, but again Colin Kaepernick was not dressed out for this game at all, he was in street clothes.

On August 26th, many people took photos of Kaepernick sitting down during the anthem.  

On September 1st, his teammate Eric Reed joined him.  Even though Kaepernick is making a lot of headlines, some good, some bad, his jersey sales, and popularity between his fellow NFL peers is rising.  

In another NFL game on September 1st, Seattle Seahawks corner Jeremy Lane sat down.  Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos sat down in the NFL’s first game, and on opening Sunday, four Miami Dolphins players sat down.  

Athletes on social media are coming out in support of him. Milwaukee Bucks forward Jabari Parker posted an Instagram photo with a Kaepernick jersey on, supporting him.

Many athletes are calling for Kaepernick to find another way to protest. Meanwhile many fans are outraged that wearing 9/11 cleats gets you fined, but kneeling for the anthem doesn’t. 

There has also been a statement from many NFL teams urging the players to stand for the national anthem. Even the NFL itself has said that they want these players to stand.

Kaepernick himself said that when until “systematic oppression of people of color” changes in the country that he will continue to protest. What does he mean by change? What is his definition of this? How long will this “change” take? These are all questions that I’m sure we have, but we will have to wait for these answers.

On one hand you have the people that fully support Kaepernick, like the other players, fans, and some members of the media. Kaepernick’s name has become synonymous with  

On the other hand you have the people that want nothing to do with Kaepernick.  Those people want him to find another way to protest, but supporters say that this is a perfectly fine peaceful protest.  

Many veterans are furious with Kaepernick, but the 49ers second string quarterback has stated that this is not meant for disrespect for any military members, or any first responders. During the preseason Kaepernick wore socks with pigs in police uniforms.  

Brandon Marshall, one of the many players who kneeled for the anthem, met with Denver’s police chief to discuss issues. Possibly a step in the right direction, maybe other police departments will follow suit.

Until then, players say that they will continue to protest during the anthem, but that they “don’t want to kneel forever”.

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As for me, I have a very middle area viewpoint on this.  

I can see why people are mad but also can see why some people support him.  

I think that this is a very peaceful protest, but I think it is very disrespectful to protest for the national anthem.  

I was always taught to stop whenever you hear the anthem, put your hand over your heart, and look at the flag, and nothing else.  I think that is why people are getting upset.

Honestly I don’t think Kaepernick is doing this to be disrespectful in any way.  I think he really wants change in this country for the better and that is something that everyone should respect.  I mean we have the right to protest, it’s called the Freedom of Speech.  If we can’t do this than why do we have this right?

Again, I think protesting the anthem is wrong, but I can’t think of any other way, and Kaepernick is doing it peacefully.

Remember, the police, not the NFL, are saying they will stop providing security to any NFL team that has players kneeling, which I think is fair.

If the police feel like the players are being disrespectful, then they should be able to stop providing police escorts to and from the stadium, protection while in the hotel, and security at games. If this happens, this season might have a lot of incidents.

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