We all love our country. One of the ways we show this is by standing for the American flag with our right hand over our heart whenever we hear the national anthem. Kneeling for the national anthem is not an appropriate form of protest.

The claimed reason for kneeling during the anthem has not been consistently accurate. This became clear when the players responded when President Trump called for the kneeling players to be fired:

A spirit of unity swept the National Football League on Sunday as rival teams, players, coaches and even some owners and performers took a knee or linked arms — or even refused to take the field — to show opposition to President Donald Trump and support for the movement started by ex-quarterback Colin Kaepernick. (Burman & McCausland para. 1)

It really makes one wonder, is taking a knee in protest of racial injustice or President Trump?

Kneeling for the flag during the national anthem before football games undesirably affects unrelated things. One example is divisiveness among teammates. “Clemson University football coach Dabo Swinney said in a press conference: ‘I don’t think it’s good to be a distraction to your team. I don’t think it’s good to use your team as the platform’” (“Refusing to Stand for the National Anthem” Con 2). Another example is that it makes watching football less enjoyable for many people. “It corrupts the usually fun and patriotic atmosphere before a football game” (Armstrong reason 8). Something that’s supposed to unite us should not divide us.

Supporters often say kneeling for the flag is acceptable because it is a right granted by the constitution. “Not standing for the national anthem is a legal form of peaceful protest, which is a First Amendment right” (“Refusing to Stand for the National Anthem” Pro 3). However, this is failing to address the point. You can attempt to justify many poor choices by saying that it’s legal. The reason why kneeling for the flag is wrong is not because it is illegal. It’s wrong because it aims to bring attention to something careless of what exactly the means being used is.

Standing for the flag is something that we do to show unity and love for our country, not to show hate and divide. Kneeling for the flag in protest is wrong because the original cause for protest hasn’t been consistently maintained, it negatively affects inadvertent things, and it is justified using weak defense.


Works Cited

Armstrong, Patti. “10 Reasons Kneeling During the Anthem Is a Bad Idea.” National Catholic Register, 27 Sept. 2017,
www.ncregister.com/blog/armstrong/10-reasons-kneeling-during-the-anthem-is-a-bad-idea. Accessed 8 November 2017.

Burman, Max, and Phil McCausland. “NFL Players Link Arms, Kneel After Trump Criticizes Protests.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 24 Sept. 2017,
www.nbcnews.com/news/sports/nfl-players-link-arms-kneel-after-trump-criticizes-protests-n804256. Accessed 8 November 2017.

“Refusing to Stand for the National Anthem: Top 3 Pros and Cons.” ProConorg Headlines, 27 Sept. 2017,
www.procon.org/headline.php?headlineID=005323. Accessed 8 November 2017.



  1. Zoe 3 years ago

    Hello. I politely disagree with your statement. When one opposes kneeling for the national anthem, I ask them this, “If kneeling during a song is the wrong way to protest, What is the right way? What is a less violent way to peacefully protest than simply kneeling?”. If you have a thought on how those with a large audience and an important voice, such as a football player, can bring to attention the injustices that are happening in this country in a more respectful and peaceful way, I would be delighted to hear it.

    The reason that I don’t think that kneeling for the flag is disrespectful is because they’re not ignoring the song or flipping off the flag or something like that, there is a reason for their body position. When a player on the field is injured, the other players on both teams kneel, for RESPECT. It is the same thing as when a flag is lowered halfway down when a national tragedy happens. You see, kneeling IS a form of respect. These players love their country; so much so that they want to see change for the better happen to it. If these players were okay with how black people are being shot for no reason with the police getting away with it, wouldn’t that make them less patriotic? We want whats BEST for our country, and kneeling is a simple way to bring this to people’s attention.

    • Author
      Brandon 3 years ago

      The famous quote of Colin Kaepernick is, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” He’s saying he won’t show pride for the flag for the country, which in turn implies he will not show pride for the country. Not showing pride for our country is not patriotic. If Colin Kaepernick deeply does have pride for this country, the wording of that specific quote isn’t clearly demonstrating that to me.

  2. Emma 3 years ago

    I was intrigued reading your argument seeing I have a different stance on it than you. I appreciate everything you said and you brought up something I have not read in this common argument, that football is not supposed to divide us but bring us together in a form of entertainment. I do agree with this but not with the fact that because some people do not enjoy football anymore because of this, players should stop doing it. The original reason for kneeling specifically was to symbolize praying for our country. When they are kneeling it is not disrespectful, but a want to bring attention to the issues going on in our government today. I agree that sitting or not bring present during the anthem is disrespectful to those who served our country.

  3. Fritch 3 years ago

    Very interesting take on how kneeling is focused towards Trump rather than the past reasons stated.

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