San Francisco 49ers player, Colin Kaepernick has made major headlines over the past month with his choice to kneel in protest during the national anthem. This peaceful protest has garnered national backlash from critics claiming he is disrespecting the legacy of those who fought for America's freedom. Kaepernick’s refusal to stand is his way of raising awareness to the racial injustices against black people that have continually run rampant in this country. The quarterback explained his rationale by stating, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Critics seem to welcome the theory of people choosing to exercise their constitutional right to protest, but that support is conditional. Although they understand his frustration, they take major offense to his choice to protest during the national anthem. The overall sentiment is yes, it’s great you want to speak out against the ills plaguing our society, but not here and not now and definitely not on national television.
The reminder of the inequality and police brutality against African-Americans is not just rearing its ugly head to America on the NFL field. The protests have prompted a major trickle-down effect, making their way to college and high school football fields as well. Athletes across all major sports are using their influence to change the world around them and rightfully so.
Kaepernick’s bold statements as a second-string quarterback have earned him a cover on TIME magazine and placed him in the political spotlight. Now, his political platform has the potential to double in size. This Sunday, Kaepernick will come off the bench and play as starting quarterback for the first time since November 2015.
No more silent, sideline protests. If Kaepernick chooses to kneel again this Sunday, he’ll bring this issue center stage and critics will have to deal. There's no better time to remind America of the contradictory "all men are created equal" clause in the Constitution than during its beloved national anthem. Until America takes a stand for the unlawful killing of Black men and women, then now will forever be the perfect time to kneel.
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Comment and let us know whether critics should delegate when/where athletes should protest.