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Taking a Knee

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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On Sunday, September 24, football players locked arms to show support for the protesters who took a knee during the national anthem.   

Colin Kaepernick started the protests last year when he took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality against African Americans. A reported 207 African Americans have been killed by police in America so far this year, some unjustly so. President Trump has since tweeted about these violent events, commenting that the protests are a disrespect to the flag. “General John Kelly totally agrees w/ my stance on NFL players and the fact that they should not be disrespecting our FLAG or GREAT COUNTRY!” he tweeted. He even stated, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired.'”

I think that Trump and anyone who views the protests as a disrespect to the flag are missing the point. We should not be focused on what these players are doing, but rather, why they are doing it. There is a reason, a cause, behind these protests. Racial injustice is an ongoing problem in our country, and I don’t think the act is a disrespect to the flag or America; rather, it is a way to bring awareness to a social issue.   You can’t create change by doing what you have always done. Besides, it’s not hurting anyone and would be considered a peaceful protest.  These people are using their First Amendment rights to  have a platform to create change.  Since many Americans see these football players during the anthem,  it is a perfect time for protest.  Football players, who are not typically affected by this violence, were bothered and disturbed enough to go out of their way to bring recognition to police brutality on African Americans.  This isn’t a protest about the flag, this is a protest about race and violence. It’s about time people acknowledge that.  Although it can be argued if kneeling is appropriate or not,  it can not be denied that these NFL players have a meaningful purpose in doing so. 

 

Sources: https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/

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Taking a Knee