Pro v. Con: Kneeling During Anthem

October 19, 2017

Opinion, Political Cartoons

The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and columnists in this section do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of The Catalyst.

 

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Drawing by Majestik Tafoya

 

The Reason Behind the Kneeling

By Madeline Peterson and Ashana Gonzalez

This season football started out with a bang in politics with Colin Kaepernick once again kneeling during the national anthem. This time, however, many other players and teams following his example.

This is not the first time Kaepernick has taken a knee during the national anthem. Last year the San Francisco 49ers quarterback started kneeling during the anthem as a protest against police brutality and social injustice. Many fans started questioning whether this was disparaging the sacrifices made by the military, a question being posed this season when many other teams, players, and some team owners joined the peaceful protest.

The many teams who have joined Kaepernick’s protests have either taken a knee or stood with linked arms are the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, and, most famously, the Seattle Seahawks who have stayed in the locker room for the anthem as well as locking arms, as have the previously mentioned teams. This idea came from one of the civil rights protests in the 1960s when civil rights leaders involved in the Selma to Montgomery marches locked arms as they walked.

As someone who was raised in a military family, I have always been taught to stand during the pledge of allegiance and national anthem — not to sit or kneel.  However, I believe that the kneeling and linking of arms is an acceptable behavior because of what it stands for and how relevant it has become with today’s riots, protests and general injustices in the world that have grown in recent years. These players have a right to protest like any other American citizen, it just so happens that they’re shown on television around the country due to how large a sport football has become.

The protests are against police brutality and social and racial injustice, both of which have blown up recently with shootings that have led to heart wrenching candle vigils and both peaceful and violent protests.  While these protests are made by people with a large following, they are still American citizens with a right to protest like any other person.

If we are going to cover this in national news it should be the topic of why they are kneeling, locking arms, and/or raising a fist. We should also cover what we can do to get rid of these injustices that have existed for over half a century and not the crowd’s reaction or listen to the opinion of a small group of people that believe one much larger group of people should not have the same pay, rights, and privilege as others just because of their skin color.

 

We Must Get Past the Idea that This Nation is Perfect

By Bobbi Jo Pennington

Standing for the National Anthem has been a topic on the news for weeks now, and has been the cause of riots and discrepancies between the National Football League and the citizens of America. This has been happening because some of the NFL players want to protest several issues, particularly police brutality. 

Not standing for the National Anthem is basically saying that you disapprove of the way our country runs or that you do not believe in what our American flag stands for. I have family members who have gone to war and who have fought for our country to be free from tyranny; I see it as an insult to the men and women who have sacrificed their lives in the military to make sure that we are free and safe to be who we are.

In the news you hear these certain NFL players say that they don’t have to stand because of The First Amendment. Yes, you have your right to protest whatever you like but if you cannot show your respect for the country that you live in then you should not be in that country in the first place. If you say you are an American citizen, then you should show it by standing proud while the National Anthem is playing. You can have your beliefs,, but you should show respect to not only the American flag but to all our men and women fighting to keep us safe.

I understand that police brutality is something that needs to stop, but kneeling  during the National Anthem is not the way to protest this, and it is not a way to show that you are upset about what is happening in this world. We all have something about our nation that we do not like, but we all have a part to play in keeping the country united. 

As Americans, we have to understand that this nation is not perfect. What we can do to keep our country strong is get past the things that we don’t find fair, and remember that we are one nation that is stronger united than apart.

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