Athletes Taking Knee for Anthem Creates Needed Controversy

Kellen Carr, Staff Writer

August 14, 2016– a day social justice made one of its boldest appearances in sports. It was the first day Colin Kaepernick sat on the bench as the national anthem was performed before a game.

His action created some confusion. People wondered if he was disrespecting the military, just wanting attention, or if he had an honorable reason. Later after his first appearance in a preseason game, he was asked about the reason behind sitting during the anthem.

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 said. Through sitting and kneeling during the anthem, Kaepernick was exercising his First Amendment Right to a peaceful protest.  

    The protest created a movement, one that stands up against racial injustice, but it has come at a price for both him and the NFL. The NFL’s ratings have decreased and some people believe that this is partly because of Kaepernick’s protests.

His reputation has come under fire from many different people who feel that he was intentionally disrespecting the military.  Kaepernick maintains that he has no intentions to disrespect the military and the people who have served.

Out of respect towards the people who have served, he stopped sitting during the Anthem and he began to kneel.

“I personally don’t think it disrespects the service I have done,” said Ernie Trius, a retired member of the armed forces. “I think it is weird, and I don’t think I could kneel. But who knows what’s going on in the people who protests heads. We have to take their words at face value.”

The protest has sparked a movement that brings two very different opinions to light. One is that people believe Kaepernick’s approach is an inefficient way to convey ideas because it can be looked at as polarizing. The other point of view is that his actions are so shocking that they force light upon the racial divide and police brutality in our country.

Are there better ways to approach a movement like this? Maybe. Is it good that athletes are using their platform to call out injustices in our society? Definitely.