Should NFL Players Kneel?

49ers kneel in reverence and protest.

49ers kneel in reverence and protest.

49ers kneel in reverence and protest.

Larry Ukenye, Editor

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The NFL, America’s most popular sports organization usually dominates the headlines for reasons both good and bad. What has recently dominated the headlines has been whether or not NFL players should kneel for the national anthem. As the season progresses and protests seem to continue, the debate needs to be made whether these players are right for kneeling for the anthem.

Colin Kaepernick started the trend initially by sitting for the anthem during his time playing for the San Francisco 49ers as a way of protesting police brutality and injustice. Former U.S. Military Green Beret, Nate Boyer, saw the protest, and encouraged Kaepernick to do something other than sitting for the anthem due to the fact many might see it as disrespectful. As a result he decided to kneel, and he immediately was met with both criticism and praise from players across the league, some of whom decided to follow after him by taking a knee before the start of games.

Donald Trump took the issue of the anthem to the next level by calling those who knelt SOBs. Immediately Trump was met by criticism and it led to more players kneeling as well as locking arms as an act of solidarity. It seems many who are kneeling during the anthem don’t seem to be letting up in their protest; the question then becomes what all this accomplishes.

For the record, I absolutely don’t agree with what President Trump had to say about these NFL players and I am a firm believer that they should be able exercise their rights and protest in whatever way they see fit. The players aren’t protesting the anthem; they’re simply using it as a vehicle to protest inequality. The question of what it all accomplishes comes into play. There was police brutality before the protest and their likely will be police brutality after. If the players who are protesting are then meeting with police in their communities as well as doing charitable work to help further equality and justice, then I’m all for it.

However, if they just take a knee during the national anthem and then go back to playing a game that makes them millions of dollars, then I personally disagree with that. Most Americans use their sports as a way to relax and get away from the world of politics and whatever issues may affect their daily lives, and if people are just kneeling before the anthem without a justified cause, it just diminishes the game by turning off fans who may not share their views.

At the end of the day racism and inequality is never going away. The best we can do is encourage positive discussions so we can address our differences and move on together as a unified country. The more we hear both sides of the argument, the better we can understand each other’s problems and how to address them the best way possible.



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Should NFL Players Kneel?