Why is it that whenever we want to stand up for something, it’s ripped from up under us and we’re told ‘“that’s not acceptable.” How come it’s not acceptable?

Growing up, most of us are told to fight for what we want, go for it, take a stand, but when we try, they stop us and tell us we can’t do that. People tell us that we’re going about it all wrong, but is the honestly any right way to go about it?

This applies to the #TakeAKnee protest going on in the NFL. Most of these players are using their name, their voice, for the people who don’t have one to bring attention and awareness to something they feel so strongly about and yet they’re being told to stop.

These players are being benched, and even suspended from games all because they won’t stand for the national anthem. It’s a choice that they are choosing to make for themselves. If they don’t want to stand, they don’t have to. They shouldn’t be punished for standing up, in this case kneeling, for what they believe in.

Monday,  former NFL coach by the name of Mike Ditka made a statement that says players have no cause to kneel in protest of racial injustice towards African Americans because “there has been no oppression in the last 100 years.” Ditka also feels that everyone has the right to protest but if you’re a professional athlete, you have to have a sense of loyalty and respect the game.

Now if we’re being technical, he said respect the game, not the flag. You owe loyalty to the game, not a country or government who doesn’t give the same loyalty back. There’s a big difference between the two.

People have the right to represent whatever and however they please. There’s nothing wrong with standing, but there also is nothing wrong with sitting, kneeling or any other form of protest.

Let’s take the VP for example. Vice President, Mike Pence, walked out of the Indiana Colts game after witnessing 23 players from the 49ers kneel during the anthem. Our VP believes that everyone should stand for the anthem because to him, it’s a form of disrespect.

Most Veterans and Military alumni aren’t even seeing this protest as disrespectful like most people are. Some of them are actually for it.

People honestly are making a big deal out of nothing. People are going to stand for something, they’re going to protest. It’s up to us, to just suck it up, deal with it, and move on. Let people have their say in whatever they want. photo

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Logan and Jillian
Logan and Jillian
April 23, 2018 6:58 pm

Dear Jasmine,

While reading your post our group agrees with your statement. Such as how you stated that “we were raised to speak our mind, then when we do we get punished for it.” Also that NFL players kneeling is harmless and that they should should be able to take a knee during the national anthem. Many agree that they should be able to speak their mind mentally and do the right thing. Most who agree feel that it shows that players are taking the initiative to stand up for what they believe and speak their mind. Such as raising a fist , taking a knee , or going to the press..Some parents like this and teach their children to do the same in the right circumstances if they disagree with something or oppose and idea or action that’s taking place. Such as if a child is forced to do something unreasonable by adults , that they should stand up and do the right thing, or stand up by taking a knee for what you believe. Most people think that it disrespects the country and forces and that there is no reason behind it, while there is a reason behind it . This is african american equality. While other parents do not like this action taking place because they think it encourages their children to break the rules and do what they want.While it is actually the opposite as you state when saying “it is not as simple as saying the kneeling is the problem… but also that they have the right to protest”. Overall most people who disagree with this do not know the meaning behind raising a fist or taking a knee, and forget that they can do what they want because they have the right to.
Jillian and Logan

April 23, 2018 4:10 pm

Dear Jasmine,

After reading your post, we think that kneeling for the national anthem in the NFL is a problem and should be officially addressed as one. Though your claim about how kneeling is not a problem is very effective, your evidence is flawed when you mention the military alumni. This flawed evidence is shown specifically when you make the point that many military alumni don’t see it as disrespectful and as you said, “some are actually for it.”, it is still disrespectful to the flag that represents our nation. Drew Brees, the New Orleans Saints quarterback supports this saying, “[I]t’s an oxymoron that you’re sitting down, disrespecting that flag that has given you the freedom to speak out.” This quote shows that he agrees with the message, but disagrees with the way it has been delivered. Not only is kneeling to the national anthem disrespectful, it is also seen as ineffective and counterproductive. There is evidence of this when Dabo Swinney, the Clemson University football coach said, “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.” This provides the claim that even though it is for a good cause, it is causing distractions to the other team members, as well as the people who are brought together to watch the games. This leads to the idea that the issue over kneeling is angering many people as well as creating divisions in our country. This is evident on many social media platforms when fans post videos of them burning Kaepernick’s jersey in protest to his protest. You could make the argument that the players are doing something good when they are using their popularity to make people pay attention, however, this claim is weak because attention is brought only to if this is a good way to protest or not, causing divisions in the country. With all of these different viewpoints in our country on the issue of kneeling for the national anthem, our country has been torn apart, and the best way to bring it back together would be to stop kneeling in protest.

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

October 23, 2017 1:03 am

I enjoyed reading your post and agree that this is an issue. Taking a knee is a peaceful protest and practices our Amendment of freedom of speech and I don’t see anything wrong with that. I thought it was interesting when you brought up a former coach “feels that everyone has the right to protest but if you’re a professional athlete, you have to have a sense of loyalty and respect the game.” Trying to find a balance between protesting as a professional athlete and playing the game is a never before seen dilemma. Discrimination still exists and by the football players using their platform it is drawing attention to something people overlook and deny. My question for you, is it disrespectful to veterans to kneel during the national anthem?

October 19, 2017 4:47 pm

I believe that the problem is not so simple as saying that the problem is actually in the kneeling, but rather the context around it. I agree that there is a problem and that they are right to protest, because there are obvious statistics showing that racism is still alive. However as Mark Twain has said, “Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government when it deserves it.” and to parallel that, the flag is a symbol of the nation rather than the government and the protest seems misdirected to many. However, I think that it is a wonderful use of the football players’ platforms to stand up for what they believe in. Hopefully, the problem gets enough coverage that this situation can be discussed more seriously and end peacefully. Glad you are discussing this and it’s interesting to see your interpretation.

October 19, 2017 3:03 pm

I think there is a big problem in the USA with police brutality. There has been a big problem for a long time but now people are taking a stand. The players that are kneeling are not disrespecting the flag, they just want change in society. I agree with you when you say ” let people stand up for what they want to stand up for.” I totally agree with that, I don’t know why they are having a big problem with that.

October 18, 2017 4:15 pm

Your article was really good I had some disagreements and agreements. One disagreement I had was why would the VP say he wants them to stand if its disrespectful. I also think that if the president says it’s illegal to protest they should not do it but they shouldn’t hold there mouths shut either but if they do they might jeopardise there carrier. I agree with you when you say all people should be able to protest yes that’s right cause I protest for my rights. Overall you article was great. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!!

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