Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Take a knee for America’s sake

Taking a knee during the National anthem has spread across America thanks to the 49ers ex-quarterback Colin Kaepernick. This movement began late in the 2016-2017 football season when Kaepernick began sitting and then later kneeling during the National Anthem. Now, athletes and fans alike have started to kneel as a form of peaceful protest against racial inequality and police brutality. Without Kaepernick participating in the NFL’s 2018-2019 season, people are still kneeling, and they should be.
Kaepernick’s actions started a movement. Once a movement has started, especially one this monumental and relevant to today’s society, it’s hard to stop. Besides, just because Kaepernick isn’t there to lead this protest on the sidelines doesn’t mean that there aren’t other people willing to do so. It’s almost expected that other NFL players would take after Kaepernick’s lead.
To think that this whole movement would go away simply because Kaepernick is not there is naive. The NFL was foolish to think that by dropping Kaepernick everyone would just stop kneeling. Once someone points out and addresses a flaw in society, it’s hard to ignore it.
It’s great that this form of protest has grown. I am all in favor for the message that it sends as well as how it is an active visualization of the First Amendment. Those who choose to kneel during the National anthem have every right to, regardless of what others say about it being disrespectful to our country and those who serve it.
It isn’t disrespectful at all. What is disrespectful is the way our country is conducting itself. Our country tends to turn a blind eye to such obvious forms of inequality and injustices. Some examples include police brutality and racial and sexual inequality. America would much rather shut down protesters of these issues than be forced to view itself for what it is. America refuses to admit that it is not flawless or superior to other countries.
Now, almost two years after Kaepernick started kneeling, this form of protest has started to become even more of a political issue. President Donald Trump has made multiple comments about NFL players who have chosen to kneel. Obviously, he finds it disrespectful, but what does that say about his and America’s beliefs?
I want to say that I hope this movement continues to grow and gain support, but I hope it doesn’t. I hope that it doesn’t need to because the issues that this protest brings up will be addressed and resolved. But that might be wishful thinking.

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Take a knee for America’s sake