Giacomo Geloso II
Colin Kaepernick, an NFL quarterback for the San Francisco, decided to stand-against the oppression which he, and many others, think is prevalent against minority groups in the United States.
His stand-against ironically was an act of sitting. On August 24th, 2016, during the 49ers 3rd preseason game against the Minnesota Vikings Kaepernick was spotted sitting out while the National Anthem was played.
He had been sitting for the playing of the anthem the previous two games as well, but it was during this game that this situation came into fruition. Kaepernick was slated to play; he had been sitting the previous two games due to post-season surgery that repaired torn ligaments in left shoulder.
Cameras caught the now outcasted quarterback sitting during the national anthem, something which he addressed post game in an exclusive interview for NFL Media: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick responded with when asked about why he sat for the anthem.
His sitting hasn’t ended, and in fact, other players have decided to join Kaepernick in his silent-protest.
Many other teams have had players decide to immerse themselves in this armageddon by doing so.
Week 2 in the NFL included protests from players on the following teams: the Philadelphia Eagles (Malcolm Jenkins, Ron Brooks, and Steven Means), San Francisco 49ers (Colin Kaepernick, Antoine Bethea, Eric Reid, Eli Harold, Rashard Robison, Jaquiski Tartt), Miami Dolphins (Arian Foster, Kenny Stills, Michael Thomas), San Diego Chargers (Joe Barksdale and Chris Hairston), Los Angeles Rams (Robert Quinn), Tennessee Titans (Jason McCourty and Jurrell Casey), and the Denver Broncos (Brandon Marshall).
This movement has outgrown just the NFL. There’s been dozens of stories of high school teams sitting the anthem. The Garfield high school football team, located in Seattle, all took a knee a knee unison during the playing of the anthem, this including the coaches and staff.
The entire cheerleader squad of Howard University also decided to kneel in unison as the anthem was played.
US women soccer star Megan Rapinoe has also knelt for the anthem, this causing her team, The Seattle Reign, to play the national anthem while the teams were still in the locker room to avoid their star player and team to be get caught in anymore controversy.
USA Hockey Coach John Tortorella stated: “But if I was ever involved in a situation where someone is trying to make a point, and they have a perfect right to do that, but to disrespect our flag and anthem, as I said yesterday, they would not play,” on the issue if one of the members of the national team decided to sit during the anthem.
Everyone is having their own little say in this. Facebook is littered with a whole slew of threads with hundreds of thousands bickering back and forth on whether not Kaepernick is right in protesting the anthem.
Some say he’s disrespecting the nation by being non patriotic; Others state he isn’t respecting the spilled blood for the flag, the thousands of soldiers, both men and women, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for this beautiful nation of ours.
A defense to this is that Kaepernick’s actions are a symbol of what America stands for: to have the liberty to do how you see fit and speak out for things which are deemed to be oppressive or unjust, while knowingly accepting the repercussion that yours actions to bring change will bring upon you.
America isn’t a totalitarian country; US citizens are granted rights which we can exercise. We have certain liberties which people from other least fortunate nations only can dream of.
Kaepernick knelt during the anthem knowing full heartily that he was getting into, something which he seems to not be backing off of.
Along with all the publicity he has generated in his actions, Kaepernick has donated $1,000,000 to charities and organizations to help the poor and and the less fortunate
A silent protest, as Kaepernick has done, is one of the most effective ways to get your point across, while staying safe from actual protests.
As Marshawn Lynch said: “I’d rather see him take a knee than stand up, put his hands up and get murdered.”
With that said, Kaepnick’s protest is being heard loud and clear as ironic as that can be.
He’s also not disrespecting any member of the military in any way or fashion by kneeling during the anthem as many think the quarterback is doing.
He’s actually exercising the rights that these soldiers died for. They gave their life for people like Kaepernick to have the Peace of Mind to protest the government without fearing for his life. They gave their life to protect the liberties of the people from oppressive governments, not to turn the country which they so loved into a
Kaepernick was the first, and now many have followed suit in the example he set.
Kaepernick’s silence has made the world erupt in conversation on the topic of oppression, smoothing which he may have intended from the get go.
With week 4 in the NFL approaching, and a certain knee is to be taken again by Kaepernick, his silent protests shed light on the cultural differences on a nation who currently struggling to figure out its identity.