NFL Players are Choosing to Kneel During National Anthem


It has always been a well known tradition to have a vocalist sing the National Anthem while everybody in the stands and all the players stand with their hand over their heart. Recently, it has become popular for football players to kneel in protest during the anthem, and it has caused unrest all across America.

Abby Marks, Staff Writer

NFL players on teams from all over the country have been either locking arms with their team mates or kneeling during the National Anthem before the game. They are kneeling not to protest Trump or to disrespect veterans or our military, but to protest police brutality and oppression against African Americans in the U.S. Many citizens, including President Donald Trump, see this as an attack towards the people who laid down their lives for our country and have decided to boycott the NFL this season until the players decide to stand for the anthem.

The commotion all started last year when 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, took a knee during the anthem last August to protest police brutality against African Americans. Over 250 African Americans were killed by police last year, 39 of them being unarmed. Overall, 34 percent of unarmed people killed by police were black. Kaepernick expressed that he would not stand for a country where people get away with murder and his race is being oppressed. This
year, many players followed in his footsteps.

Many people took different sides over the issue, some standing strongly against them, others staying indifferent and others who understand where the players are coming from. President Donald Trump took to Twitter stating “Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!” Trump is mostly bothered by the fact that some players would kneel during the time that everyone honors our flag and those who served for our freedom. Vice President Mike Pence left a Colts vs 49ers game on Oct. 8 when several players took a knee. He responded on Twitter, saying “While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the Flag and our National Anthem.” It is estimated that Pence spent around $250,000 on
a flight to and from a game he ended up not even watching.

Police brutality and oppression towards African Americans has been a prominent issue in America for several years now, and these players are using their platform to make a difference. Even players who do not kneel show their support for their teammates by placing a hand on their shoulder and standing behind them.