Kneel or Stand?

Beginning two NFL preseasons ago, a protest of police brutality and racial inequality was initiated. The movement was started by then San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. What began as one football player sitting during the national anthem, quickly spread and resulted in team members kneeling, sitting, and raising fists during the anthem as a way of demonstrating solidarity for fellow team members and their message. It’s reported that kneeling was decided as the main form of protest after Kaepernick discussed the matter with NFL player, Nate Boyer, a former Army Green Beret. The movement gained momentum when President Trump began to openly criticize members of the NFL who kneeled via Twitter. According to Sports Illustrate, “During Week 3 of the 2017 season, a record number of players kneeled during the national anthem after Donald Trump made comments about how players who kneeled should be fired.”

After much controversy, in May 2018, the NFL created a policy that stated NFL players must stand during the national anthem, prohibiting players from protesting. While many believed this was the solution to a dividing occurrence, its purpose fell short. In 2018 preseason games, players have continued to kneel. Examples include our very own, Miami Dolphins’ players. According to the Sun-Sentinels, “Dolphins wide receiver Albert Wilson kneeled and defensive end Robert Quinn held his right fist in the air Friday during the national anthem before Miami’s game…” and a week before that, wide receiver Kenny Stills also kneeled along with Wilson at their preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Essentially, this topic has divided many as some football fans wish politics would be kept out of the games, while others agree with the protesting-players and their mission. This topic hits home for many, through the belief that doing anything but standing during the national anthem is disrespectful to soldiers and the U.S. itself, or the belief that it is their constitutional right to protest. It is difficult to determine if one side can be deemed right or wrong. Therefore, it is up to each individual; would you kneel or stand? 

 

News sources: 

https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/05/23/why-do-players-kneel-during-national-anthem

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-dolphins/fl-sp-dolphins-anthem-20180817-story.html

Photo Source: 

http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/dolphins-kneel-national-anthem-a...