By Emily Heiss
News & Features Editor
A divided nation. An outraged president. Thousands boycotting a 2 billion-dollar franchise. What could be the cause of such chaos?
The National Football League.
As many may know, players from football teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, and several more have been ‘taking a knee’ during the playing of the National Anthem. The reason the players are partaking in what some are deeming a bold statement is a form of protest.
Kneeling during the National Anthem all can be traced back to Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers, who first began his demonstration in August 2016. Kaepernick stated, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Kaepernick’s protest has since spread across the nation. Now, the majority of teams in the NFL have at least one player who is taking a knee during the anthem.
Many Americans argue that when the players take a knee, they are protesting the flag, or protesting American veterans.
Football players are taking a knee as a symbol of not feeling unity in their country, or not feeling as if they belong.
Even when people are aware of the reasoning behind the protest, outrage still continues. Some agree with the point of protest, but not the means of how it is done.
“I just think they could show their support for the cause in a different way that does not take away from those who served our country,” an unnamed student said.
When asked what would be the appropriate way to protest, a 97 year-old veteran responded, “Those kids have every right to take a knee, I fought so they could have such freedom.”
Some citizens believe that it is “anti-American” to force the players to stand for the National Anthem, and argue that this does violate the First Amendment.
Some citizens believe that it is “anti-American” to force the players to stand for the National Anthem, and argue that this does violate the first amendment, which is a freedom that was died for just like the flag.
President Trump has said that he believes those players who partook in the kneeling should be fired. Many rally behind him because they find it to be distracting from the game itself..
Some believe that it is inappropriate to convey such in an environment solely based around sport.
The protests have divided the nation. 48% have cited kneeling during the anthem as respectful and 46% of a poll group cited it as a disrespectful means of protest.
All the latest right here!