By Carlos Chavez
Imagine it’s the Preseason in the NFL. Everyone is gathering to watch two legendary teams go head to head in one of America’s most beloved sports. Before the game starts, they sing the national anthem to pay homage to the country that allows the players to play the sport freely. Everyone in the stadium stands. Everyone, except Colin Kaepernick, Quarterback for the San Fransisco 49’ers.
Kaepernick says that he doesn’t stand because he is “Not going to stand up and show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Although skipping the anthem has been done before and is legal, it is usually seen as disrespectful. More and more players of various sports are also skipping the anthem as a protest. It makes some people ask: Is what kaepernick doing okay or is he being disrespectful to the country that gives him freedom?
What Kaepernick is doing is lawfully acceptable and some athletes are even joining him in skipping the anthem, such as NFL Seattle Seahawk’s Jeremy Lane and the Denver Bronco’s linebacker Brandon Marshall. Protesting against social injustice is something that seems like the American way. But can it be the American way if it’s also disrespecting American tradition? Yes, American tradition used to consist of owning slaves not letting women vote and killing the natives. Sometimes we must let go of our old ways as a country to help make a newer and better nation.
Most people can agree that any protest is great as long as you respect the beliefs of others. Being disrespectful has been the main issue of this whole story. There is a time and a place for everything and maybe skipping the anthem during a football game when millions are watching isn’t the right time for a protest. However, athletes use their popularity and the popularity of their sport to raise awareness for important causes.
Raising awareness for anything that threatens justice in this country or anywhere in the world is important. When all these athletes come together to stand up against injustices it is because something is truly wrong. Whenever these athletes protest by sitting during the anthem at a football game, they hope to change american policies or laws. Athletes do this because they know something isn’t right and we must come together to fix the problem.