Take A Stand?
October 4, 2017
It isn’t the usual thing to see sports and politics squished together in one. On the 23rd
of September, some of our most praised NFL teams or players kneeled during the National Anthem. Throwing off the fans they’ve had for years and even our president.
Nobody expected this silent protest to blow up as big as it did, but when President Trump and fans got their thumbs moving on Twitter, it definitely escalated rapidly. Just like any issue concerning Trump, you can always find his opinion on social media. One of his tweets the Following Monday said, “Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total) these are fans who demand respect for our Flag!” he later tweeted “the issue of race has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag, and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!” His tweet bringing in race heated up many players and their fans. People said that he wouldn’t get respect for bringing in race in something that wasn’t about race at all. People said he was right. The argument grew bigger and bigger after every tweet
Although, Trump’s outlook is one of the ways the people are perceiving the protest, there are many other ways to look at the incident. There is the view of Trump, the view of the NFL players have the right to kneel or not, and the view that protesting wasn’t wrong, but doing it during the National Anthem was.
In my view, the last reason is the way I see it. Trump took it to a place it shouldn’t have gone to. The reality is they weren’t in the wrong to protest against Trump, but the way they protested wasn’t the greatest idea.
“Our National Anthem doesn’t have anything to do with the president in office but our foundation of a country. So, why are they thinking that not taking pride in standing and pledging is a good way of protesting over a irrelevant person to the National Anthem.” said Jared Coleman.
Although, the protest wasn’t an ideal type of protest, it did create a sense of unity between the players and even the coaches. The support they gave each other for kneeling was vast, but when it came to those standing there wasn’t as the same support towards those kneeling.
Not every team and not every player kneeled on the occasion, Pittsburgh Steelers tackler, Alejandro Villanueva, stood alone while his team stayed in the entrance tunnel. Previously, he had been a Captain in the United States Army, in which he served as an Army Ranger and was decorated with a Bronze Star for valor. I see why he would come out to stand and honor the flag. For veterans, the outlook on what our flag and the National Anthem represent is far from the meaning an everyday person sees it as. When you are being shot at and fighting for this country and see the representation to the National Anthems origin, the battle of 1812. The brutality people see for our country is the looking glass to the real meaning of our Flag and National Anthem
So what do you think, are the players out of line or is Trump? Overall between the actual protest and the tweets the situation was expanded to vastly. The amount of attention given to Trump’s ego isn’t helping the people or this country. Protesting the NFL was not in the wrong here it was the disrespect of using our Flag and our National Anthem.
The teams of the NFL and their players have controversy relating to the flag and the National Anthem. President Trump had recently spoken about the issue, but not necessarily how you would imagine. During an interview Trump put his input on what he believed what NFL owners and coaches should do. “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired. He’s fired!” As the leader of our country, this is extremely non presidential to say.
“I think that he should not have said it in the first place” sophomore, Lance Whitesides, said.
This caused even more protest during the National Anthem. The players began to kneel and protest their beliefs on and off the field. From just single players protesting, such as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season, to entire football teams kneeling, or not even staying on the field while its sung.
Basketball superstar Lebron Jame spoke out on his thoughts regarding Trump. “He doesn’t understand how many kids, no matter the race look up to the President of the United States for guidance, for leadership, for words of encouragement. He doesn’t understand that, and that’s what makes me more sick than anything…”. Furthermore, NBA President of the Detroit Pistons, Stan Van Gundy claimed that Trump “has made our national anthem a divisive issue.”
Trump has turned not only the majority of the NFL against himself, but the NBA as well. Due to the major publicity that these associations bring in, this form of protesting should not be accepted or done in their free time. However, for the president to lash back at them isn’t acceptable either, and should be taken at a different approach.
Picture Credit: SB Nation