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NFL players shouldn’t protest the national anthem

Colin+Kaepernick+%28right%29+kneeling+for+the+national+anthem+with+teammate+Eric+Reid+%28left%29+next+to+him.+
Colin Kaepernick (right) kneeling for the national anthem with teammate Eric Reid (left) next to him.

Colin Kaepernick (right) kneeling for the national anthem with teammate Eric Reid (left) next to him.

Colin Kaepernick (right) kneeling for the national anthem with teammate Eric Reid (left) next to him.

Brian Brahm, Reporter

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Back in 2016, NFL players began to protest the national anthem, when it would play before the start of the game. They protested it by taking a knee or raising a fist in the air, instead of placing their hand over their heart and standing up.

It all started when Colin Kaepernick, at the time a QB for the San Francisco 49ers, took a knee when the national anthem was playing. This sparked a large chain reaction among the players from all 32 NFL teams. Soon, many of them took a knee. 

Kaepernick said he kneels in protest of police brutality and mistreatment of African-Americans and minorities. He has publicly said that he will not stand for the anthem until things get resolved in the country and when he deems that all people are being treated equally.  

Kaepernick teammate Eric Reid joined him the next game. They interlocked arms and took a knee, away from the rest of the team. In a matter of weeks, this movement spread across the whole league and many players starting protesting the same thing as Kaepernick.

After seeing all these players kneel during the anthem, President Donald Trump took offense to it. He said in a speech that all players who kneel should be fired. This sparked the Pittsburgh Steelers to stay in the locker room for the national anthem and run on the field following the playing of the anthem. They did this so that the rest of the world would not be able to see who takes a knee and who stands.

Alejandro Villanueva, an offensive lineman for the Pittsburgh Steelers, came out and stood in the tunnel with his hand over his heart. Villanueva did this because he was a West Point graduate and a captain in the United States Army in Afghanistan where he was awarded a bronze star for valor. He felt as if this were the right move for him because he felt like he needed to pay respect for his country and feel grateful for the freedoms that it provides.

This past offseason the NFL came up with a new rule which was agreed upon by all 32 NFL owners. The new rule said that if the players and coaches are on the field for the anthem then they must stand; however if they don’t wish to stand than they could remain in the locker room while the national anthem was playing and they could run onto the field after it was over.

As I look on this subject, I believe that players should absolutely stand for the national anthem because it is a time to honor our country and the brave men and women who sacrifice their lives daily so we can have the freedoms that we enjoy. There many other ways to protest, but I feel like the anthem is not the time to protest.

 

 

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NFL players shouldn’t protest the national anthem