Lately, in the news there has been lots of discussion around the topic of taking a knee during the national anthem. An NFL player, Kaepernick, took a knee during the national anthem in August of last year (2016). His actions then gained lots of attention, and sparked a national debate. I think that it is the player’s constitutional right to take a knee during the national anthem.


One of my reasons for standing with players who are taking is a knee, is because it is their first amendment right. The first amendment of the bill of rights is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” Meaning that any citizen of the united states of america, has the right to peacefully protest. This is exactly what these football players are doing, they are peacefully protesting. Therefor, they should be able to kneel during the national anthem, because they are protected under the law to do these actions.


One of the reasons that taking a knee is so controversial, is that some people view taking a knee during the national anthem as very disrespectful to all the armed forces. When playing the national anthem, it usually means that you are honoring all the lives lost fighting for America. I can understand this argument, but we also have to understand that all our armed forces were fighting for our freedom, one of freedom’s being freedom to protest. Some may say it is disrespectful, but still, it is the player’s first amendment right to take a knee during the national anthem.


One may ask “why are these football players taking a knee?” One of the many answers is that, these players are trying to bring awareness to police brutality (Mindock 6). In 2016, there were many videos and photos put online that showed police being extremely racist to African Americans. For example, there was a video that showed a white police officer pulling a gun on an African American man, even though the African American man had done nothing wrong– he was following the instructions of the police officer (Morrison 5). So because of all these racially driven events, NFL player’s are using their platform to bring awareness to police brutality, by taking a knee during the national anthem.


Overall, I support players who decide to take a knee during the national anthem. I think it is an incredibly brave thing to do, especially when so many people disagree with the action. With these players taking a knee, it has sparked lots of debate about police brutality and racial discrimination. Hopefully, with these peaceful protests, there can finally be social progress and change, because clearly America still has a way to go, when it comes to discrimination. Therefore if someone asks “do you support players taking a knee?” My answer is yes.  



http://www.politicalstorm.com/on-taking-a-knee/ (media)


CC BY-SA 4.0 Taking a Knee by Jessica is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


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