By Luke L and Addison A
In August of 2016 Colin Kaepernick did something that surprised America. He stood up by sitting down. A preseason football game, a song, a flag, a bench, and a man who sat down.
The first time Kaepernick protested (what he is now so infamous for doing), there was an uproar. People in the crowd were calling him a “coward,” “someone who should be banned,” “not a true American,” but then Kaepernick explained why he knelt: to show more respect to the flag.
Many people agreed with his protest of police brutality and racial inequality, which was in response to the death of Eric garner and the phrase I CANT BREATHE which has been a symbol of police brutality for 3 years now. Because of Kap we see every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday football players kneeling, locking their arms or raising their fist.
Some people agreed with what he was doing, some were disgusted.People turned to, friends, bosses, and family, and there was a mixed reaction. Many people were confused.
That response can yell, maybe even scream that people believed in him. Idolized him, but if you go deeper into the reaction of the public it shows that there are people who think he is even more of a monster that he was before.
Then, the president made some remarks at a rally in Alabama, he encouraged people to boycott the NFL if they weren’t happy and also encouraged owners to cut or release players who refused to stand for the anthem “Get that son of b*** out of here he’s fired.” The crowd at that rally cheered but back home most Americans who were watching yelled and screamed at him and many were horrified by his words but this whole crazy fiasco of a protest almost tore people away from the real problem that the NFC conference champion quarterback was trying to express.
Racism is still very alive and well in this country lurking around wounded but still there and it is not going away. There are some who think that the civil war never solved anything. In some ways those people are right. Of course, it solved one of the biggest problems, which was slavery. But it didn’t make some people think differently about people with a darker skin color.
There have also been many Americans who have been offended by the recent protests. Some people believe that no matter how our government is behaving, or no matter how bad the situation has become, that all players have to stand for the national anthem.
In the NBA, they have a rule, that all players must stand during the national anthem. The NFL doesn’t have that rule, but more recently, teams have started making rules about the national anthem. The Miami Dolphins have made a rule, where if you are on the sideline, you must stand, but you have the option to stay in the locker room during the anthem. People believe that sitting, kneeling, or raising a fist during the anthem is disrespecting our country, and not paying proper respect to those have died in service.
But the players say that, they are not protesting the armed forces, and they have no means to. They are protesting racism, and our current government, but some people don’t see that.
For many years, we have grown up, learning it’s ok to protest, but some people don’t agree and think it is not only protesting the anthem, but they are also disrespecting the fans. Some people don’t see what the players are saying, they don’t care what they are protesting for, they only care that they are protesting.
Can you explain why he sat down?