By Stephania Flores ’20
In 2016, Colin Kaepernick, a football quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, started to sit or kneel down during the national anthem. This sparked major controversies involving racism in the United States. President Donald J. Trump even got involved with the National Football team, NFL, controversial issue by tweeting about the kneeling down of NFL players.
The whole start of this kneeling down was due to the recent police brutality and social inequalities happening in 2016. This included recent police shooting innocent African Americans. After Kaepernick kneeled down, many others players joined in and started to kneel down as well, which led the NFL to take control of the matter. The NFL took their time before taking action of this issue. The NFL issued new rules and consequences of kneeling down during the national anthem. Ian Rapoport, an American sportswriter, tweeted the consequence of kneeling down: fining the team whose players are kneeling down or sitting down, or the players can just stay in the locker room until the national anthem ends to avoid any conflict. Guadalupe Flores, a junior, expressed the following: “It is reasonable for NFL players to kneel down during the national anthem because these football players are using their platform to fight against inequality.” Many might agree with Flores and say that it is a way to express what they are feeling, it is a way to get everyone’s attention and let it be known that they do not support America’s society structure currently.
Many people were very supported by the action while others thought to be disrespectful towards the flag. Many argue that Kaepernick has the right to kneel down while others argue that he and others should not be kneeling down since people found it disrespectful since it is symbolic of our country and many find it offensive. But is kneeling down really a sign of disrespect knowing that they are kneeling down for the injustice of racism in the United States? Michael Barcenas, a junior, agrees with Kaepernick and other NFL players’ action of kneeling down during the national anthem because it is showing their voice about police brutality. Barcenas even went on and admit that “I would kneel down too because there is still police brutality and inequality in the U.S.”
Even the President of the United States, Donald Trump, got into the controversy by tweeting it on Twitter, and even go on and not accepting the Philadelphia Eagles into the White House for the celebration of the Super Bowl, which the Eagles won. But this was not for the kneeling down instead since they said the Eagle was going to boycott the event because Trump disagrees with their act of kneeling down during the national anthem.
Do you agree that kneeling down is disrespectful or do you find it understandable? Do you agree with the NFL taking action and fining the team for kneeling down?