Should it be Okay to Sit During the National Anthem?
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Standing for the national anthem–most people don’t think twice about it. This was true until this past summer. In August, Colin Kaepernick, a football player for the San Francisco 49ers, sat down during the national anthem at a preseason football game. Colin Kaepernick stated that he does not plan on stopping the protest any time soon. This is also a controversy in high school sports. Many young athletes are following Kaepernick and have joined in on protesting during the national anthem, as well. Some feel that the protests are good because people are “standing up” for what they believe in, but others think that this form of protesting is wrong, as well as very disrespectful.
Colin Kaepernick is not protesting just because he can. He is protesting for what is important to him. According to “Colin Kaepernick of San Francisco 49ers sits Again During the National Anthem”, Kaepernick explained that he is protesting due to what he feels is “ongoing racial oppression in America”. He then went on to say that he will continue to kneel until their is a solution for this problem. Kaepernick later explained that he thinks that it is important to make America a better place, and by kneeling during the national anthem, he can help to do that. Many people seem to agree with Kaepernick and are joining in on the protests.
These protests are an ongoing issue in not only professional sports- but high school and youth sports, as well. According to an article from the Washington Post, “Crowd hurls slurs at all-black youth football team as some players kneel during anthem, coach says”, there are kids as young as 13 years old who are sitting during the national anthem. This is an issue that is local, occurring at Woodland Hills School District. It seems as though the coach of this team may have influenced his players to take a knee during the anthem. The coach, who is African American, is most likely kneeling because of the same reasons that Kaepernick is. This is absolutely wrong. Of course, these kids are going to listen to their coach out of respect for authority, and perhaps, a fear that they won’t get to play. These young athletes need to be properly informed about why people stand for the national anthem before they are encouraged by adults to kneel. Later on, players from the opposing team, Bethel Park, began to yell racial slurs on the field during the game. Parents from the other team were very disgusted, and the environment at the game eventually became so tense that police were needed to patrol the game. These kids who were influenced by their coach probably do not realize why protesting during the national anthem is disrespectful.
Before someone decides to protest, they need to think about the meaning of the flag. For example, in the article, “Colin Kaepernick of San Francisco 49ers sits Again During the National Anthem”, a fan who is a veteran said that he feels that what Kaepernick and others are doing is completely wrong. He went on to say that he has seen too many people lose their lives to protect that flag, so he thinks that people who are protesting need to reconsider their decision. Right now, there are too many people who are making huge sacrifices so that we can be free. The people in our military are making huge sacrifices every second of their lives– all for us. If these people were not fighting to protect our freedoms, people like Kaepernick would not get to play the sport they love for their job. Those people who are sitting during the national anthem need to think a little bit harder and consider changing their decision. How will sitting during the national anthem fix racial oppression in the United States? It is simply just disrespectful.
In essence, the ongoing national anthem protests have became a huge controversy in the United States for no reason. When people protest the national anthem, nothing is being accomplished. The only result is a ton of controversy, especially on social media. Most of the people who are protesting are well-known athletes, so why aren’t they using their fame to speak out and make a change? Do they really think that sitting for the national anthem is going to change racial oppression? These athletes need to stand up when the anthem is played. If they want a change, they need to get out and speak up about the issue- not sit down and disrespect their country.