WHAT DOES KNEELING DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM MEAN, AND WHY DOES IT DRIVE AMERICANS CRAZY?
My investigation centers around Colin Kaepernick, who was an NFL player who played for the 49ers, but lost his job for kneeling at his football games during the national anthem. Now, no teams will offer him a contract. He does this in protest of how African Americans and other minorities are treated in America. Kneeling during the anthem at NFL games started a huge controversy in America. Kneeling is just how some people choose to protest what they believe in. To some people kneeling means protest, to others it means disrespecting what America stands for and disrespecting the people that fought and still are fighting for America, Colin Kaepernick had even stopped sitting down during the national anthem and started kneeling to still show respect for the people who fought and continue to fight for our country.
People such as Colin Kaepernick and anyone or any company associated with him (Nike) are being judged and looked down upon for supporting and protesting what they believe in. I wanted insight on what really goes on when a team member makes a decision such as kneeling, so I interviewed a school sports coach, Mr. Pitz, and a student football player, Bashyr, to get their opinions on the kneeling situation. Interviewing these two gave me insight into whether or not kneeling is really an issue and if it’s something that people should criticize.
IS KNEELING IN PROTEST DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AT A GAME APPROPRIATE? DOES COLIN KAEPERNICK HAVE GOOD REASON TO DO SO?
Questions for Bhashyr:
Do you agree with Colin Kaepernick?
“Yes, I agree with Colin because I agree with what he believes in, that America still oppresses people of color.”
Do you think he is disrespecting America?
“No, I believe that he is only protesting the injustice of America’s treatment of people of color.”
Would you ever decide to protest on the field in any way, and what might it be on?
“I don’t think I would have ever protest on the field, but I still would have let my voice be heard in other ways like tweeting or going to groups that support my same idea.”
Do you think it’s appropriate for protest to be experienced in the game of football?
“I think it is a appropriate time because the game has not started.”
Questions for Mr. Pitz:
Do you agree with Colin Kaepernick’s reasons to protest during the national anthem?
Mr.Pitz believes that this is a powerful movement, but feels like there could be more he could do other than kneeling.
Do you think it’s appropriate to protest at a game during the anthem?
He says he would never do something like that. He mentioned that he has family war veterans and that it might be slightly disrespectful, but since he cannot relate to the causes of his protest (I’m assuming because of racial identity) that he doesn’t have much to say on the issue.
How would you react if one of your players did something like this during a game?
Mr. Pitz says that they are all a team and that if one member was to kneel then they all would be on the same page and all kneel. All or nothing!
Do you talk to your players about behavior on the field?
He states they do discuss behavior, and about the national anthem, too but they don’t play the anthem at their games all the time.
IS KNEELING DURING THE ANTHEM SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE IN THE FUTURE IF THE REASONS TO PROTEST ARE NOT RESOLVED?
People protest against the national anthem by kneeling because of police brutality and mistreatment of minorities. Colin Kaepernick and other fellow football players are only exercising their right of freedom of speech. They aren’t behaving violently; they are simply kneeling. Why is this seen as such a bad thing? They aren’t turning their backs to the flag, burning the flag, or making harsh remarks, so why is there so much controversy? If someone does not believe that the U.S isn’t living up to its promises of liberty, freedom, and justice for all then that person has the right to protest however the choose to protest. This is not just an issue in sports; this issue can reach different communities such as our own Carver community. As young people and the future, we should not see people, or even experience ourselves, being criticized for speaking up for things we don’t agree with especially issues involving us such as police brutality. What has kneeling done for America, or what has it made people realize about America? Is the America we live in now really one we should be proud of? Everyone in our Carver community should have a voice and should speak up on any issues they have.