Kneeling For the Anthem has Spiraled out of Control  

Burke Harman, Staff Writer

I have always been a supporter of standing up for the national anthem. I understand people have the right to kneel due to freedom of speech, but I have thought of this as disrespectful. The National anthem represents many things: our countries’ past, patriotism, as well as the honor and gratitude we show to those who have fought for our country. 

Ever Since Collin Kaepernick, who is still not on an NFL team, knelt for the anthem last season, there has been controversy about racial injustice issues and police brutality that has spread much wider than the NFL. That being said, things took an unexpected turn this past weekend. 

After the following controversial tweet from President Trump about how NFL players need to stand up for the anthem, there was a large amount of backlash: “If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend” This backlash did not only come from players and coaches, but also the owners and other higher ups within the organizations, all of them strongly condemning the president’s comments on the issue, which caused a chaotic NFL Sunday week 3.  

Many players across the countries took knees, as well as the whole Seahawks team and Steelers teams choosing to sit in the locker rooms during the national anthem, except for one Steelers lineman choosing to come out into the tunnel and stand up. I give all the credit in the world to this man, Alejandra Villanueva, a former Army Ranger out of college showing the upmost respect for our country and his fellow troops.  

My question still remains, what are these protests accomplishing? Why aren’t these players on the streets pushing for more racial equality instead of continuing to dishonor our nation. Not to mention these players are making millions of dollars each year you would think they could use some of that money to donate to a good cause or push others to take a stand on these issues. The problem with President Trump’s tweet was that it only wanted to make these players kneel and protest more. As a nation we must find some kind of common ground with this debacle. People have to see there are issues out there and players have the right to protest, but kneeling down and disrespecting our flag is not the way to do so.  

Overall it was a sad day for the NFL, as we still remain divided on many issues off the football field as players still disrespectfully kneel for our national anthem in protest. Only time will tell if these protests get progressively worse or better as we dive deeper in the 2017 NFL season.