Uh! What a shame that these people bash out on anything they see or hear without even knowing the reason behind it. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first knelt during the national anthem as a form of protest against racial injustice, police brutality, and treatment of minorities, particularly African-Americans in San Diego on September 1. It created a huge controversy and almost dividing the nation on whether this was acceptable or not. Some argued that he disrespected the flag and the people who fought for this country while others showed their support for Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest. He is right for speaking up for those who can not and by kneeling during the national anthem, he is not trying to offend anybody but just bringing awareness to the people about the reality that people of color are facing today.
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First Amendment in the Constitution states “ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” (US Const. Amend. Ⅰ). According to the First Amendment, people have the right to freedom of religion, speech, and assembly. In the op-ed “Kaepernick has a right, but he’s still wrong” author John Kushma argues that “It is wrong of him to carpet bomb America’s treasured and hard-fought symbols” (Kushma 13). However Colin Kaepernick has the right to kneel during the national anthem and that is an acceptable form of protest, protected by the First Amendment but why are people raging in anger and losing their minds over Kaepernick for not standing during the anthem? Even if you disagree, you should respect his opinion and his stand on this topic. When he chose to kneel during the anthem, he is expressing his thoughts peacefully, using his platform to reach as many people possible and trying to let the nation know about this situation and he never tried to disrespect the American flag or the people.
Colin Kaepernick was a great football player. But he sacrificed everything from his fan base to his career to address the racial inequality in today’s world. He may be different from lots of people but he is showing his patriotism unexpectedly or differently. For instance, the author Barton Swaim said that “We have a lot of people that aren’t treated equally, aren’t given equal opportunities” (Swaim 6) in his article “Colin Kaepernick is no Rosa Parks”. This shows that the severity of this situation and how important this is to people of color. This is something that is needed to addressed urgently.
Not everybody will accept or agree with Colin Kaepernick. Not everybody will interpret the situation the same as him. People have their right to disagree as John Kushma said “Disrespect the very core of his own good fortune. In other words… bite the hand that feeds him” (Kushma 10). Colin Kaepernick risked his whole life to protest against the unfair treatment of people of color. After all, multi-millionaire successful football player became unemployed, just like that because of protesting for a change? Where is equality? Where is the freedom that is guaranteed to us? Like Micheal Eric Dyson said in his op-ed “The Courage of Colin Kaepernick” that Kaepernick’s situation highlights just how little progress we’ve made in this country in confronting the brutal legacy of racism” (Dyson 4). Racism is the root of this problem.
On the other hand, kneeling is a form of showing respect. Colin Kaepernick did not try to offend veterans and people who are serving overseas, protecting our country. People who oppose Kaepernick brought up this situation to show that he is doing something wrong, but that is not the case for all veterans. According to Kelly McHugh-Steward in her op-ed “ My Father Died in Afghanistan, and I Support Colin Kaepernick”, she said “But my father did not die for symbols. He died for people. He died for the rights of all Americans, regardless of their race or religion” (McHugh-Steward 17). This quote shows not only that there are families of veterans who are supporting what Colin Kaepernick is doing and that people fought to make this country, the best country to live. The country that has freedom. The country that welcomes all people regardless of their color.
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In conclusion, Colin Kapernick kneeling during the national anthem is an appropriate way to protest against the police brutality and racial injustice. He has all the right to do so. The main problem is not Colin Kaepernick kneeling, it is that how the American people perceive this, whether they stand up with him or drag him down. This shows how this country perceive equality as, freedom as, and racism as.
Work Cited Page
- Dyson, Micheal Eric. “The Courage of Colin Kaepernick.” The Undefeated, The Undefeated, 16 Mar. 2018, https://theundefeated.com/features/the-courage-of-colin-kaepernick/.
- U.S. Constitution. Art./Amend. I.
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