When NFL players kneel for the national anthem they are not disrespecting the flag. They are just supporting what they believe in. The players believe that there is police brutality going on in America. They believe there is social injustice going on for the last couple years especially with police.The players are kneeling for the national anthem to try to make a change and try to stop police brutality.

The NFL players want to show people it is a serious problem going on and it needs to stop.Colin Kaepernick says “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color” (Flaherty 2). He is saying he doesn’t want to live in country that doesn’t support black people. Colin Kaepernick believes in equality for everyone not just one race or culture. Like Kaepernick, NFL players are kneeling to send America a message saying that police brutality needs to stop. Some of the owners threaten to fine or release the players kneeling for the national anthem. The Dallas owner Jerry Jones believes everyone should stand for the national anthem or they will be penalized accordingly. But the NFL players don’t care about that, they just stand up for what they believe in. September 24th the Pittsburgh Steelers sat in the locker room for the national anthem against the Chicago Bears. It had NFL owners going crazy. Calling it disrespectful to not come out to stand for the anthem. In week 8 of the NFL season the Miami Dolphins Coach Adam Gase told them “he preferred they stand during the anthem” (The Associated Press 3). But the team had 3 players who choose not to obey the words of the coach and knelt for the flag anyway.

Then there are the people who think it is disrespectful to kneel for the flag. One of these people is Donald Trump. He has said “Very important that NFL players STAND tomorrow, and always, for the playing of our National Anthem. Respect our Flag and our Country” (Parco 7) . He wants every player to stand up for the national anthem no matter what you believe in. He believes it is disrespectful to not stand up for the flag. After that comment was made there was a whole league protest. Trump has also said “That’s a total disrespect of our heritage. That’s a total disrespect of everything that we stand for of players who did not stand for the national anthem. Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, Get that son of a b**ch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired”

(Cillizza 5). In this quote Donald Trump was talking about how the owners should fire any players who don’t stand for the national anthem. At the end of the quote he was talking about Colin Kaepernick how he shouldn’t be on the field. That he belongs on the sideline and he shouldn’t be on one of the NFL teams because he was the one who started kneeling for the flag last year.

The NFL agrees it is bad in America right now but not all of them agree with kneeling for the American flag. Drew Brees said “If the protest becomes we’re going to sit down or kneel or not show respect to the flag of the United States of America and everything it symbolizes and everything it stands for, everything our country has stood for to get to this point, I do not agree with that. I feel like that is a unifying thing” (Alper 5) . Some of the players like Drew Brees want to figure out another way to protest America besides kneeling for the flag. In the quote he is saying it is disrespectful because they aren’t appreciating what the military has done for them. Also Brees is saying that the military has done so much for them and they need to respect everything that they have done. To at least stand for the National anthem. Then the problem with that argument is the American flag stands for America not just the military. It stands for the whole United States and not just the military. Colin Kaepernick says “The American flag represents the sovereignty of the United States, the nation as a whole. The flag does not solely represent the U.S. military, despite its associations with it” (Hafner 4). He is saying the flag doesn’t just represent the military it represents freedom, peace and justice. Colin Kaepernick is saying there isn’t justice in America right now with the police brutality and he wants to find a way to stop it.

It is not disrespectful to kneel for the flag if you wish to do so. Almost everyone agrees that there is inequality in America but some people don’t agree on kneeling. Everyone has a different view on kneeling for the flag. But we have to respect everyone even if we don’t agree with their beliefs.


Work Cited

Alper, Posted by Josh. “Drew Brees Disagrees with President, Kneeling during Anthem.”ProFootballTalk, 25 Sept. 2017, profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2017/09/25/drew-brees-disagrees-with-president-kneeling-during-anthem/.


Cillizza, Chris. “The Dark Racial Sentiment in Trump’s NBA and NFL Criticism.” CNN, Cable News Network, 23 Sept. 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/09/23/politics/donald-trump-nfl-nba/index.html.


Flaherty, Bryan. “From Kaepernick Sitting to Trump’s Fiery Comments: NFL’s Anthem Protests Have Spurred Discussion.” The Washington Post, WP Company, www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/sports/colin-kaepernick-national-anthem-protests-and-NFL-activism-in-quotes/?utm_term=.273f12187fd7.


Hafner, Josh. “Why Kaepernick Is Honoring, Not Dishonoring, the Flag: Column.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 31 Aug. 2016, www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/nation-now/2016/08/30/why-kaepernick-protest-flag-troops-military-column/89582194/.


Parco, Nicholas. “Trump: ‘Very Important’ NFL Players Stand for Anthem in Week 4.” NY Daily News, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 30 Sept. 2017, www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/trump-important-nfl-players-stand-anthem-week-4-article-1.3532997.

The Associated Press. “3 Dolphins Kneel for Anthem after Adam Gase Relaxes Team Rule.”ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, 5 Nov. 2017, www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/21308291/3-miami-dolphins-kneel-anthem-coach-adam-gase-relaxes-team-rule.

Picture- Youth Voices


CC BY-SA 4.0 Kneeling by Jordan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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