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Rant of the Week: The NFL and the National Anthem

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CWU chapter.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick started the pregame peaceful protest of racial oppression and inequality within the United States last season by sitting during the National Anthem before a preseason game, then kneeling during the anthem throughout the season. As of September 2017, it has continued to flourish as a hot topic of discussion. Our home team, the Seattle Seahawks, even found themselves protesting inclusiveness in America by staying in the locker room during the playing of the National Anthem. During the next weeks game, Seahawks versus the Indianapolis Colts, the players of the Seahawks decide to come out of the locker room, but still continue in the pursuit of creating that inclusive society that America was searching for. The Seahawks decided to create a fund with the goal of building a more compassionate and inclusive society, calling it the Players Equality & Justice for All Action Fund.

Some may think this is matter of disrespecting the flag and what it stands for: military; freedoms; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but this issue is strictly regarding the issue of inequality that is oppressed upon certain individuals and groups. Whether or not you support our current POTUS, Donald J. Trump, society has to understand that the equality of America is going backwards, and all of those men and women who have fought for our rights of inclusiveness and equality are lessening in value due to the fact we are moving backwards as a country. Since this issue, not only has society split in the difference of opinion, but the military has split as well. 

Yes, I understand that men and women in uniform, members of the armed forces, and veterans are suppose to stand with their right hand over their heart because they are sworn in to protecting our country, but the 36 U.S. Law Title 301 says,” all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. The operative word here is SHOULD. The Law does not say that you are suppose to stand for the law, but rather you should stand. It is just like when the Pledge of Allegiance is said in school. If it does abide by your religion because of the statement, “one nation under God” then you do not have too. Why should some stand for the National Anthem, due to the POTUS failing by not creating an inclusive country for different types of people despite their race, religion, sex, gender, and many other factors? The POTUS is suppose to represent a societal figure in a leadership position, the commander and chief, and a person who encourages inclusively into our country. The current POTUS lacks those thereof, thus creating a society that portrays only what the leader portrays, disrespect to those who are not included in the “American” name (https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/36/301). 

Some may also say, well why would you let the POTUS factor into your decision into whether you should be standing or kneeling during the playing of the National Anthem? It is the same reason we follow other Presidents. They are suppose to be leading by example of this country. When the citizens of this country see the President acting with an indecent character, they too will think it is okay to act that way. Think of it this way, there is a big sister and a little sister. The little sister is going to copy the big sister because she is older, is more knowledgeable, and is considered a “leadership role” to that little sister. Now back to the POTUS, the current POTUS won for a reason, thus meaning people are probably looking up to them into what to do next.

Yes, I know that the kneeling during the National Anthem may seem disrespectful in some aspects, but it was indeed a peaceful protest that got the media, citizens, and the current POTUS talking about the issue at hand. One of the biggest things we can do is citizens is talk about it. Whether you agree with something or not, it is good to talk about both sides respectively in order to come to to the conclusion that there are positives and negatives in both sides. As a college student, the millennial generation is the biggest generation right now. If this generation can continue to stay knowledgeable and talk about these topics of interest we will be able to move forward and make a difference in the world.



The girl passionate about politics

Her Campus CWU President and Writer Previous Her Campus CWU Events Director Current student at Central Washington University  Major: Public Relations Minor: Advertising, Sports Business, and Interdisplinary Honors I love writing about anything and everything! Politics, fashion, mental health, and many others! I hope to be able to utilize my skills/ endeavors from Her Campus, along with other clubs, organizations, and experience in order to pursue a career in PR.