Thoughts on the NFL Players’ Protest?

Liberal – Victoria Nguyen

“Taking a Knee” is a movement that has caused controversy throughout the nation and has shed light on the different attitudes the American people have in regards to addressing police brutality.

Nevertheless, every individual should feel encouraged to embrace his/her right to free speech and protest. This was not held true, however, when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem to advocate for Black Lives Matter and received backlash for it, as well as unemployment. It is unfair for Kaepernick to still be unsigned and according to The New Yorker, “blackballed” by the NFL community. It is unfair that when other football players kneel in support of Kaepernick and his stances, they get denounced as “sons of bitches” by the President of the United States. It is unfair that racial inequality is still present in society.

Kneeling when the national anthem is playing is not a sign of disrespecting the flag, our servicemen and servicewomen or the beautiful ideals in which America was founded upon. Instead, it is to symbolize our desire to push our country forward and have it keep progressing to reach racial and social equality.

Conservative – Jeanpaul Rincon

Is there such a distinction between Sports and Politics, or are they inherently intertwined? These are at the forefront of much dining table and bar stool discussions due to the recent increase in “Taking a Knee” during the national anthem prior to games in the NFL.

Following Colin Kaepernick’s protest of taking “Taking the Knee” prior to a football game last fall, he was under much scrutiny.  Many argue “Taking the Knee” is disrespectful to the flag and politics inherently do not belong in sport. Further this style of protest has become much more popularized as more and more NFL players or as many call them “bandwagoners” are “Taking the Knee” during the national anthem.

I was listening to a radio report days after the mass protests in the NFL, and the news reporter stated many people watch sports in order to stray away from politics therefore players have no right to protest because politics and sports are not intertwined.

After much analysis I found, it is true people utilize sports as an outlet away from the hardships of their daily lives. However, Sports and Politics are inherently intertwined. Sports are magical in the sense, they break all forms of barrier; socioeconomic, racial and gender barriers. They break down walls built upon prejudice uniting people of all backgrounds to support their sports team.

Independent – Rick “Daniel” Cruz

Taking a knee has reignited the debate of “appropriate protesting”. The players in the NFL are roughly 70% African American. Taking a knee is a means to protest the injustices of police brutality to unarmed black men and the statistical disproportionality of arrests done to black people.

In contrast, there are many people who feel that taking a knee is disrespectful to America, the working idea being that you cannot stand for its values by protesting its symbols.

From a legal argument, any team owner can fire a player for “engaging in personal conduct reasonably judged by Club to adversely affect or reflect on Club.” By now most owners have already commented on this issue, some going so far as to stand in unity or kneel with their players as a means to convey support.

As for the moral argument, both sides want justice in their own perspective. It would be appropriate to say that both sides are “right” if only because both are discussing issues that have little correlation.

Patriotism and Black Lives Matter have no middle ground because there is no conversation between the two parties. An answer by Patriots to the question as stated once by Trevor Noah, “What is the right way for black people to protest?” is needed in order for continued conversation in the hopes of reconciling these two perspectives.

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