Taking a Stand by Taking a Knee

Brooklyn Armbruster

Standing up for what you believe in is a common value taught and learned. The more popular, or familiar, you are the bigger influence you have. In this specific case many athletes, including the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, have started to kneel during the National Anthem as a sign of protest. It’s not something taken lightly but if Kaepernick’s goal was to bring attention to a subject he sure has done so.

“When there’s significant change and I feel like [the American] flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, [and that] this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand,” Kaepernick said on Aug. 28.(Mic Network Inc) The protest was influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement which stands up and calls for a change against uncalled for violence, police brutality and injustice in black America. Kaepernick kneeling raises awareness to the subject.

This is a growing trend. Kaepernick isn’t the only one on his knee, many other people have been taking action as well. Arian Foster, Michael Thomas, Marcus Peters, Jelani Jenkins and Kenny Stills, all from Miami Dolphins have knelt during the national anthem as well.

“I chose to get involved to see if I could create change, raise awareness. And I want to make it clear that there is no disrespect to the military or to police officers – I’m not about that. I love everyone,” said Miami’s Jelani Jenkins, one of the Dolphins to kneel. “I would like to keep moving forward in the right direction with everybody: equal rights, equal opportunity. From my position, it doesn’t seem that it’s happening. That’s why I took a stand.” (voanews)

This protest has ignited a firestorm of both criticism and support. On the other side of this many people, including veterans, coaches, and players, have seen this as a sign of disrespect. People have seen this form of protest as a “slap in the face”. Many respect the movement they stand for but see this as an uneffective and discourteous method.

““If any of my players sit on the bench for the national anthem, they will sit there the rest of the game,” Tortorella said. Tortorella, the fiery former Rangers coach who is leading the U.S. squad during the two-week tournament in Toronto, told ESPN on Tuesday that players who take a seat during the national anthem can forget about representing their country on the ice.” (Townhall)