By: Jake Neuman
In a NFL preseason football game, San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat down during the national anthem in protest, saying he will not “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people.” After these actions, Kaepernick received a lot of angry comments from people who thought this was disrespectful and praise from people that thought that this was a good protest of inequality towards minorities.
He had another game against the San Diego Chargers a week later that was “military night” for the home team, and, despite all the angry comments and boos, he once again declined to stand during the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner”. This time, however, he and his teammate Eric Reid both took a knee during the national anthem. Kaepernick did applaud for the military when they announced to the crowd to recognize active military personnel in the stands, and said he has “utmost respect for them.”
His actions are spreading to other games too as Jeremy Lane of the Seattle Seahawks continued this protest and sat on the bench, like Kaepernick, during his game against the Oakland Raiders. He will likely receive a lot of bad feedback for what he did, but this could lead to even more players continuing the trend.
There are two different sides to whether or not people think Kaepernick’s actions were right or wrong. People either think that what he did was making a reasonable stand for a serious problem in America, or they think that whatever the problem is, no one should disrespect the country like this no matter what the problem is.
One of the signs in the crowd of Kaepernick’s game said, “You’re an American, act like one”. This is the opinion of many people that believe that Kaepernick should stop not standing for the anthem because they think that either it is disrespectful to America and our military, they disagree with his views or for another personal reason. Kaepernick offending people for any of these reasons could make people angry, and that led to angry comments, mean tweets and boos at his games.
There are people who agree with Kaepernick’s opinions against unfair treatment towards black and minorities. There have been many famous athletes and celebrities that fully support everything he has done. Kaepernick thinks that inequality to blacks is a big problem facing America and the people that support him want him to continue what he is doing, and hope that more people join in.
Some people do not agree with with Kaepernick, but cannot say that what he is doing is unconstitutional. They may not think that what he is doing is right, but they also believe that it is their right given to them in the constitution that allow people like Kaepernick to make these types of protests. President Barack Obama said that Kaepernick was “exercising his constitutional right” when he sat during the national anthem.
Kaepernick has made other steps to try to fix, and to spread awareness of the problem. He intends to donate $1 million to “organizations to help these communities and help these people.” His popularity has made a significant increase in these recent weeks, as his jersey sales have increased in great numbers.
Kaepernick has not shown any signs of backing down on his protest, and everyone will have to wait and see how long it will last. Others may join in, and it could turn into a big movement for not just the NFL, but the whole nation. Kaepernick’s future decisions will be harshly critiqued, and will make a lot of people angry. Kaepernick has some big decisions to make in the next few weeks.