This year, the NFL is in the spot light, although not just because of who won games. Instead, the NFL is in the headlines because of players, coaches, and whole teams kneeling during the National Anthem.
So why are they doing this? Most players, coaches, and teams joined the movement after San Francisco quarterback, Colin Kaepernick was the first to kneel during the National Anthem. He did this to raise awareness to violence against African Americans. Reporter for the New York Times, Lee Siegel, stated, “When black players take a knee during the national anthem to protest police violence against African-Americans, they are making a gesture of pain and distress.”
Soon after, several other teammates of his joined him in the protest. The outrage from millions of Americans started to pour in. While some encouraged Kaepernick, to some, the protest wasn’t received well. Some Americans thought it was very disrespectful to American soldiers that fought for our freedom and rights that we have today, and that it was a slap in the face to everyone in the military.
Kaepernick shot back, stating that he didn’t want to stand and respect the American flag that represents the hate colored people are facing. The attention then drifted away for a while, until the Super Bowl came around again, when President Trump commented on the issue. President Trump criticized the NFL earlier in the football season when the league did not punish kneeling participants. President Trump released a tweet before the Super Bowl thanking the Armed Forces “for our freedom as we proudly stand for the National Anthem,” inciting conversation on the controversy once again.
While no one took a knee at the Super Bowl this year, I do think that this is just the start of this movement, and that next year’s football season in the NFL will again have players, coaches, and entire teams kneeling during the National Anthem.
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