Thursday, October 13, 2016 (Issue #1)
by Steven Wasserman, Staff Writer
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When San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to sit down during the national anthem of an NFL football game, it sparked a national outrage.
Kaepernick said he was attempting bring awareness to racial injustice, an ongoing national issue, especially with regards to African Americans here in the United States. While Kaepernick’s cause can be viewed as somewhat noble, but the means by which he decided to spread his message was grossly distasteful and tone deaf.
Colin Kaepernick first protested during the national anthem on August 26, during a preseason NFL game against the Green Bay Packers. Since his initial protest, multiple players in the NFL, most notably Miami Dolphins running back Arian Foster and Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, have joined in on the protest, opting to kneel during the anthem.
The protest eventually spread to collegiate and high school football teams, and even to cheerleading squads.
Kneeling or sitting down during the national anthem is blatantly disrespectful to our country, what it stands for, and all the men and women who have fought and died to protect our country and the freedoms which it bestows upon its citizens. There are a myriad of other ways to get a message across about racial injustice without disrespecting the country that we know to be the most free and democratic nation in the world.
There are plenty of other ways to protest racial injustice that would not have necessarily brought about such a negative reaction. Celebrities of all types should use their status to bring awareness to social issues (racial ones specifically), but in the right manner.
These days, we see many athletes taking to social media and expressing their views, which is perfectly acceptable and their God-give right. However, with a powerful medium like social media, sometimes there are major consequences if someone chooses to voice an opinion or belief.
There are multiple avenues Kaepernick can take to get his message across that do not include disrespecting the integrity of our country and the men and women who have given their lives for it.
While this country guarantees its citizens freedom of expression and freedom of speech, out of respect, Americans should never use those rights to disrespect the country itself.