Kaepernick Trend Sweeping the Nation

This article does not represent the views of Her Campus FSU.

In the past few weeks, we have seen many NFL players decide to take a knee during the National Anthem before they play. This trend began with Colin Kaepernick, backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He sat during the National Anthem before his team played the Green Bay Packers on August 26th.

Kaepernick claimed he sat because, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," according to NFL media. Kaepernick single handedly began a protest that has spread to multiple different teams and players within and outside of the NFL.

Soccer player Megan Rapinoe took a knee during the anthem in a showing of solidarity for Kaepernick. Rapinoe stated, "The very least that I can do is continue the conversation with him by kneeling for the anthem," according to ESPNW.

Other NFL support comes from a variety of players on different teams like the Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs and the New England Patriots.

Players are using smaller gestures in comparison to Kaepernick’s original protest where he sat during the anthem. They are kneeling or raising their fist in a show of solidarity to the cause that Kaepernick suggests is one of the largest issues in the United States.

“I think he’s using his freedom of speech so I don’t see any problem with it,” said FSU Junior Colleen Bishop.  

Other students don't think the same way. “I personally do not like what he is doing. I understand that he has the right to do so and I understand what he is doing it for, but the Anthem and the flag are representations of this nation and I feel that you should respect both by standing because they symbolize those freedoms,” said an anonymous student.

Courtesy: Tallahassee Democrat

FSU volleyball player Mara Green recently took a knee during the anthem before a match. Head Coach Chris Poole stated "Mara made me aware of her intention to kneel for the national anthem. I respect Mara’s right to freely express herself," according to the Tallahassee Democrat.

People who have come out against Kaepernick include ESPN reporter Trent Dilfer, who said, "Although I respect what he's doing and I respect the passion and burden he has for this issue, a massive issue, I do not respect the fact that he put himself and his stance above the team because he's not the only one who's passionate about big social issues," during ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown.”

Even the Santa Clara Police Department issued a letter stating that if his behavior continued, they would not show up for work at the stadium on game days. The letter says that Kaepernick's remarks against officers are “obviously insulting, inaccurate and completely unsupported,” according to the Washington Times.

FSU sophomore Gisselle Cruz agrees with the police department and said, “ I don’t think sitting is effective, it’s more disrespectful than anything. Meeting with community leaders, donating money and tangible solutions are the types of solutions these players need to be doing instead of rudely disrespecting what this great nation stands for.”

Kaepernick has certainly gotten his cause brought to light, but at what cost? His harsh remarks towards the men and women who have sworn to protect us and the controversial way he sat during the National Anthem has brought negative light to the issues at hand. He used his platform as an NFL player to create a media storm that has created tension while he has not made any real action to remedy the situation.

Those who have shown solidarity to Kaepernick have done so in a seemingly more respectable manner, choosing small gestures like holding up a fist or kneeling, which Kaepernick has adopted himself after the original incident, instead of showing complete disregard for our nation’s heroes by choosing to sit.

The cause that Kaepernick and others support is not the issue that people have. It is the lack of respect shown by players and the lack of action by most of those players in order to create change.