If you’ve ever watched the beginning of any major United States sporting event, you’re familiar with the National Anthem. The usual routine that comes along with the National Anthem is attendees are “expected” to stand with their hands over their hearts to show respect for the American flag. Recently, Colin Kaepernick decided to take a different approach by sitting/taking a knee but for legitimate reasons. Kaepernick believes that since the American justice system doesn’t respect their black citizens and their rights, why should he respect the National Anthem and the American flag. As expected, an action such as this would spark mixed feelings.
There are some that believe Colin Kaepernick is being disrespectful towards the American flag and what it represents. Khalilah Ali, Ted Cruz and Jerry Rice are some of the many that has expressed their disapproval of Kaepernick’s actions. The main argument that is being used against Kaepernick is that he is being disrespectful towards the veterans who gave their lives for this country. They also feel that it is not an appropriate setting to stage a protest such as this and that it should be done in a light different from during the National Anthem.
On the other hand, there are people that are completely behind Colin Kaepernick and find his actions more than justified. People such as Megan Rapinoe, John Carlos, and President Barack Obama are showing their support for Kaepernick and the message he is trying to get across. There are even veterans showing their support who recently took to social media to spawn the hash tag: #VeteransForKaepernick. They believe that due to the 1st amendment, he has every right to express how he feels towards any situation.
Personally, I think the protest and message that Colin Kaepernick is trying to get across is one that needs to be heard and witnessed. There has been one too many times that the justice system has failed black people. With us being unrightfully killed by police officers without any repercussion on their end they are literally getting away with murder. All Kaepernick is asking for is for the justice system to do what it’s meant to do and give liberty and justice for all.
Many are only familiar with the first verse of the National Anthem since that the only part being sung during these types of events. I wonder how many people are aware of the rest of the song that so happened to be deemed our “National Anthem.” There are lyrics in this song that blatantly promotes the killing of slaves. “Their blood has wash’d out their foul footsteps’ pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave. From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave” are the words that could be found in the National Anthem. I don’t understand how people against Colin Kaepernick expect everyone to show respect to this song that has lyrics like this is beyond me.
My only wish out of all of this is that more athletes join Colin Kaepernick. So far, there has been numerous athletes who are sitting with Kaepernick such as Eric Reid, Megan Rapinoe, and Jeremy Lane. With sports events getting some of the most views on television it’s a great way to spread awareness. I think that if more athletes show their support it will be a great way to keep this movement alive. His message is saying more than giving justice for all. It’s telling America that people are demanding discrimination to come to an end. No matter what makes a person different from the next shouldn’t play a factor in how they should be treated.