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Focus on Kaepernick’s message and not his method

Kaepernick+takes+a+knee+during+the+national+anthem
Kaepernick takes a knee during the national anthem

Kaepernick takes a knee during the national anthem

Kaepernick takes a knee during the national anthem


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After Donald Trump criticized football players who decided to kneel during the national anthem, many players who had not participated in the protest before joined Colin Kaepernick, the ex San Fransisco 49ers quarterback and first player to kneel.

At first, Kaepernick went unnoticed during his protest. His protest didn’t gain national attention until the third preseason game. Since then, he’s continued on with his protest while being joined by several other NFL players, other professional, high school and college athletes.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said, via NFL.com. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

At a speech in Huntsville, Alabama, President Donald Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b**** off the field right now, out, he’s fired!’ You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s gonna say, ‘That guy disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it… They’re friends of mine, many of them… They’ll be the most popular person, for a week.”

Many other public figures have shown support and many have denounced the act of taking a knee. Fans are deeply divided over this issue.

Eventually the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said took a side and said: “Like many of our fans, we believe that everyone should stand for the National Anthem,” noting “it is an important moment in our game.”

Gyree Durante, a sophomore at Division III Albright College in Pennsylvania, who kneeled for the second game in a row on Saturday was cut from the team altogether. When asked about his actions he replied, “I was just taught you fight for what you believe in and you don’t bow to anyone…I believe heavily in this. So I decided to fight for it.”

Drew Brees, a quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, says, “I disagree. I wholeheartedly disagree. Not that he wants to speak out about a very important issue. No, he can speak out about a very important issue. But there’s plenty of other ways you can do that in a peaceful manner that doesn’t involve being disrespectful to the American flag.” This is a stance that many people are taking, and it is an understandable one at that.

It is very common for people to say that he should have done it another way. However all of these people are so caught up in the method that the football players are using, they forget to see the message. Players are risking careers they have worked their entire lives to get to in order to get people to stop turning their backs on racism and trying to make people understand it is a very real issue that is still happening.

You can see this denial everywhere, such as in Brees’ quote which refers to racism as “a very important issue” more than once instead of saying the actual word. This type of thing is seen in Harry Potter, where the word Voldemort is so awful he is referred to as “you know who.” However, calling him “you know who” doesn’t make him any more or less of a threat, he still tries to kill Harry in the end. Racism is still seen everywhere whether we call it out or not, and the first step to getting rid of it entirely is making sure everybody knows it is a problem.

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Focus on Kaepernick’s message and not his method