The NFL National Anthem Protests

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The NFL National Anthem Protests

49ers at Redskins 10/15/17

49ers at Redskins 10/15/17

KeithAllisonPhoto.com

49ers at Redskins 10/15/17

KeithAllisonPhoto.com

KeithAllisonPhoto.com

49ers at Redskins 10/15/17

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If you are an NFL football fan, then you have probably noticed that during the National Anthem at the beginning of the games, some players are kneeling instead of standing and saluting the flag. Why is this? To start with, according to Politifact, this entire protest started in 2016 when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick stayed sitting on the bench during the national anthem. 

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/education/schools-students-protesting-national-anthem
Kneeling instead of pledging.

What caused this protest? According to USA Today, Kaepernick told NFL.com, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Also, according to the Tennessean, “Kaepernick’s goal was to bring attention to the many cases of police brutality against African-Americans, using both the high profile platform as an NFL player and the large stage provided by NFL games to raise awareness.” Kaepernick was the first player to protest, and he wasn’t the last. Many players from a variety teams are kneeling, sitting on the bench, and raising a fist into the air. Recently, the Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t come out of the locker room for the national anthem at all while playing the Chicago Bears. The Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin told SBNation that, “We’re not going to play politics. We’re football players, we’re football coaches. We’re not participating in the anthem today. Not to be disrespectful to the anthem, to remove ourselves from the circumstance.”

Although many people are for this protest, others, including our president Donald Trump, are furious. President Trump has stated his complaints via Twitter. President Trump states that “The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag, and National Anthem. The NFL must respect this!” He also says that “Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is unacceptable. Bad ratings!” President Trump says in another tweet that the NFL needs to either fire or suspend players who kneel for the National Anthem. In fact, after President Trump began telling the NFL that players who are protesting need to be either fired or suspended, a lot more players began to protest.

 

Trump tweets telling people NFL is being offensive to America’s National Anthem.

According to USA Today, “Demonstrations spread throughout the league as many players broke out of their routine by joining the protests or engaging in team-wide displays of unity. The Associated Press estimated 204 players elected to either kneel or sit during the anthem.” This is as of week three in the NFL playing season. The fans reacted in many different ways. According to Rolling Stone, “…fans went about treating the national anthem like they always had: Many did give it attention and respect, but many more went to the bathroom; or they saw it as snack-and-beer time; sent less-than-important text messages; and few would go out of their way to tell someone else to stand or remove their hats.” As you can see, the NFL protest is a very controversial topic.

What do you think? Would you protest the racism that many NFL players see and sit or kneel, or would you stand in respect for our country? The decision is up to you.

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