To Stand or Not to Stand?

Colin Kaepernick has made a bold statement throughout the football season by kneeling during the National Anthem.  Kaepernick’s controversial actions have reverberated through the nation.  Some believe Kaepernick is disrespectful and unpatriotic.  However, people fail to recognize why Kaepernick is kneeling.

Shortly after his first protest, Kaepernick was interviewed by the NFL.  He stated that he didn’t want to show pride towards a flag that oppresses people of color, especially the black community.  He has shone a spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement which is designed to alert our nation of the injustice towards the black community especially after the unjust and violent deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Sandra Bland, all of whom were victims of police brutality.  Kaepernick is biracial and wants to make sure his community is rightfully protected and not targeted.  While some think that Kaepernick was too bold in his actions, he has the ability to spread awareness for the BLM movement because of the NFL’s prominence in the media. If he wants to change something for the best, why shouldn’t he use that platform?

Despite the controversy, Kaepernick’s protest raises the question— does he have the right to kneel during the national anthem? According to our constitution, he does.  Kaepernick is simply petitioning the government for a redress of grievances, which the First Amendment allows.  No matter what the public’s opinions may be, Kaepernick is not putting others in danger; he is peacefully protesting just as Rosa Parks did in order to shine a spotlight on unfair segregation rules.  Kaepernick has a constitutional right to kneel during the national anthem and it would be against the values of our country to stop him from doing so.