First things first, lets start with a disclaimer; I fully support black lives matter, and the whole movement to end racism. It is 2016, the fact that racism still exists today blows my mind. But I am not naive however, and I do understand that people all around the world deal with racism in their daily lives. Now with having said that, I do not support Colin Kaepernick kneeling during The National Anthem, for more reason than one.
Kaepernick kneeled saying that he “will not stand for a country that oppresses black people” and that “people are getting away with murder”. Well Kaepernick is standing up for his beliefs, it’s his freedom of speech, so he has every right to do so. However, is kneeling for the national anthem really your way to portray the ideas of stopping racism? We stand for The National Anthem to support our troops, the whites, AND the blacks, that are fighting for our country to give us the freedom to go to football games and watch Kaepernick on that field. We do not stand to say that our country is perfect and everyone in it is great, we stand to show our respect for the lives that this country has given us and the freedom we are presented with.
As if what Kaepernick did was not already disrespectful enough, he chose to kneel on 9/11. All of us know what a tragic and devastating day 9/11 was. It is a day that every American recognizes and pays our respects to because of the bravery of the lives given that day. Standing for The National Anthem on 9/11 is not just about showing your respect to the country, it is representing the lives given that day and the courage of these Americans. And Kaepernick has the audacity to kneel and offend all the loved ones of those fallen Americans?
Now people are taking after what Kaepernick has done, while other NFL players are taking knees during the anthem. A player at my high school took a knee during their homecoming football game. I come from a small school, where everyone in town knows each other. He got put in our town paper saying he was “brave”, but brave for what? Disrespecting the flag in front of a town that has never “oppressed” him and has given him the privileges that every other student receives. Standing up for what you believe in is one thing, but doing it to get attention and be looked at as “brave” are ALL the wrong reasons.
Usain Bolt, a Jamaican olympic athlete, was in the middle of an interview and the American National Anthem came on and he completely stopped the interview to have his full attention on respecting our flag. The flag of a country that Bolt does not even live in. It is just respectful, it is not about what color your skin is, or what your zip code is, it is about how far we have come as a country and the fact that we support freedom. It is this country that is giving Colin Kaepernick the right to stand up for his beliefs, the least he can do is stand to thank it.