The Real NFL Protest
By now, everyone knows about Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem and the NFL protests that followed. But it seems to me that many people do not know why the protests are taking place or why Colin Kaepernick is kneeling in the first place. Through a discussion that took place in my American Politics class, I found out that almost every person that disagreed with Kaepernick for kneeling, felt he was being disrespectful. They truly believed that he was protesting the American flag, the military and the national anthem itself. I suppose when the president of the United States goes on national television and calls people "sons of bitches" for "disrespecting the flag", it is hard to know the true meaning of a movement. Allow me to break it down for you:
Colin Kaepernick's protest does not make him anti-America. He is not protesting the military, the flag or the national anthem. It had nothing to do with patriotism whatsoever. Kaepernick took a knee to show his frustration with the lack of justice in the criminal justice system. There have been far too many cases where black men (and women) are gunned down in the streets by police officers without consequence. Too often, these police officers are put on desk duty instead of being fired, arrested, or indicted. You know, real consequences. So, I'm confused where people got the idea that he was protesting the military and the flag? People are trying so hard to turn this protest into something it’s not, focusing on the act itself rather than what the act means. People like Trump are so pressed about his kneeling, yet these same people are silent on issues of police brutality, racial profiling, and the rise in hate crimes. Literally, the president of the United States has absolutely NOTHING to say about racism and injustice in America, but can hold a press conference about a few football players peacefully exercising their right to protest? Oh.
So, are these people that are mad at Colin Kaepernick also mad at those who are at the concession stand during the national anthem? I’m almost positive no one in that line stops what they’re doing to face a flag and pledge their allegiance to America. Does that make them anti-military? And what about the people watching games from the comfort of their home? I’m sure no one at home rises from their couch and stands for national anthem. Are they unpatriotic? Does that make them anti-America? I didn’t think so. It’s obvious that people don’t really know what Kaepernick is protesting, and don’t care to know. What they do know is that a black man with money is standing up for something they don’t agree with. And for this, he lost his job.
While it isn't fair that Colin Kaepernick has not been picked up by any NFL team because he spoke his mind, this movement is much bigger than him and any other football player in the NFL. It is important that we don’t let the true message behind his protest get lost in the controversy surrounding him.