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"NFL Taking a Knee"

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There has been a sudden uprise in the NFL and some people are wondering, why are they all kneeling? NFL players have been kneeling for the national anthem lately more than ever, they have a strong message to share, and many people around the world have heard it, and started responding, including the President of the United States, Donald Trump. There are three opinions going around on this topic. These guys should be standing, these guys should keep kneeling and speaking out their message, or right in between, where as many don’t care.

 

What is the reason for this kneeling?

Well, players are protesting the injustices people of color still face in America today. The racism in America today is a great amount. Some feel that the players are doing this for the right reason. Many believe that the President should not have gotten involved in the whole situation, he should have let the NFL handle everything and deal with it in the way that they feel is right. You might also be wondering, who started the whole controversy anyways?

 

What is a respectful protest?

There’s respectful ways to protest racism and police brutality.  Many people feel that kneeling or staying in the locker rooms during the anthem is disrespectful and not right.  It can be understood that protesting itself is right as long as they’re doing so respectfully.  Many agree standing with locked arms is the best way to go about the protest as for it can symbolise standing as one and united as equals and was also a civil rights movement, whereas kneeling you’re doing it alone.  In no way is the protest attacking the flag nor the anthem itself, but the police brutality and the idea that equality is not real today and they want to change that.  

 

What do they have to say?

Whether football players protesting during the anthem is truly effective or not can’t quite be proven, but it’s obvious everyone has an opinion.  “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” Kaepernick explained why he did not stand up in a interview with NFL Media.

As the word gets around about kneeling during the anthem, everyone has an opinion, including President Trump.  “Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country.  Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable.  Bad ratings!” says Trump’s twitter. Many people believe that kneeling is disrespectful to our soldiers overseas. However, the thing is that our soldiers fight for a free country with a freedom of speech.  As Chief’s Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement to CNN, “I believe in honoring the American flag and supporting all of those who sacrifices protect the many freedoms we have in this country, including the right to have differences of opinion.”     

What does the first Amendment mean in schools?

A high schooler was recently punished for participating in the nationwide protests against social inequity by kneeling during the national anthem. This high schooler may not have the same exact rights as a fully grown man from the NFL, but schools are not allowed to punish students for voicing their opinion, based solely off of how it is introduced. Some believe staying in the locker room during the anthem, or trashing an American flag is an act of disrespect. However, this was a peaceful protest, and that should mean it’s protected. It would have made more sense that the player be put into a dialogue between their coaches and teachers, rather than forcibly removed from their team. It would have caused both sides to have to explain their opinions, and led to a better understanding to why the player would be so willing to kneel during the anthem.

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