Jackson Gardner | Website Editor
Controversy has sparked across America surrounding the issue of kneeling during the national anthem. Started by lone NFL football player Colin Kaepernick, the trend of kneeling during the national anthem has caused a revolution in the hearts of many Americans.
A survey from Fox News, an openly right-wing news program, has shown that 41 percent of voters think kneeling is an appropriate form of protest, rising from 32 percent in 2016, while 55 percent of voters disagree with kneeling, lowering from 61 percent in 2016.
Kneeling to the flag is not a sign of disrespect to our country, but it is a cry from those whose voices are not heard by our government, whose actions are regarded with negativity by the general population because of stereotypical accusations and whose personalities are judged based on their religion, sexuality or skin color before people even meet them.
Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49’ers backup quarterback, sat and knelt during the anthem last year and has said he refuses to honor the anthem or take pride in a flag for a country that oppresses African Americans and other people of color.
President Donald Trump, whose views lie on the opposite side of the political spectrum, believes Kaepernick’s actions and those of other NFL players is a blatant sign of disrespect toward the flag and the country.
“The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect to our Country, Flag, and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!” President Trump tweeted on Monday, Sept. 25.
Groups of people like the NFL protesters, who use nonviolence to resist the outrageous opinions forged by those who have no right to make these allegations toward anyone of any race, religion, or sexuality, are under constant fire from the media for being different, and yet they are still expected to blindly follow a country which has not respected them.
“Wrong,” Stephen Colbert, host of CBS’s “Late Show” said. “Kneeling during the national anthem has everything to do with race, just like [Trump’s] presidency. Those players are protesting racial injustice. They’re not protesting the American flag. Saying that kneeling is a protest against the flag is like saying Gandhi’s hunger strikes were a protest against snacking.”
NFL players are simply trying to use their platform to speak for those whose opinions don’t seem to matter in our country. Putting a hand over your heart and pledging allegiance is a personal choice, and it should not be swayed by anyone. Our government claims it was founded on the ideals of freedom, yet when one man [Kaepernick] speaks his mind he loses his career and faces backlash from millions of people.
Is this what our founding fathers had in mind when they created these rules many years ago? What happened to the amendments that said our rights of freedom in our country gave us the power to speak our minds and do whatever we feel necessary in the eyes of the law to defend our opinions?
Politicians, the media, and our peers are constantly pressuring us to judge others for no reason. Kneeling during the anthem is nothing more than a protest against the actions our country has inflicted on minorities. These nonviolent protestors are no different than Martin Luther King Jr. or Nelson Mandela, yet somehow they are treated with hatred and hostility while King Jr. and Mandela are praised for their actions.
Kneeling to the flag opposing opinion story written by former senior Parker Ferguson.