Kneeling to Take a Stand


Creative Commons photo by MarineCorps New York on Flickr

NFL Players are responding towards Racial Discrimination in their own ways.

Kenzie Snyder, Ranger Review Reporter

The National Anthem, once considered as a symbol of national unity,  is in the spotlight as America wonders if players will kneel, instead of standing, in protest of racial division.

For many they view it as disrespect to this great nation. Mike Ditka Television Commentator, and former football player who made the Pro Football Hall of Fame expresses his opinion on the subject.

“I think it’s a problem… anybody who disrespects this country and the flag, if they don’t like the country they don’t like our flag… get out,” said Ditka.

For others they see it as a way to take a stand for what they believe in.That is just what Colin Kaepernick believes, he decided to take a knee during the National Anthem before a preseason game, to take a stand against “Police Brutality.”  Kaepernick says he will continue to kneel during the anthem until he sees noticeable change.

Kaepernick has started something among the NFL players of America. Seven players have taken a knee and many others have began to do their own thing to protest racial division. For some of the players, they raised their right fist to show they stand with Kaepernick. Others such as the Seattle Seahawks, linked arms and stood during the National Anthem to demonstrate unity.

Safety Malcolm Jenkins and cornerback Ron Brooks from the Philadelphia Eagles raised an arm above their heads during the national anthem prior to Monday’s game against the Bears on september 19, 2016 . Jenkins and Brooks made the same gesture prior to Sunday’s home game against the Steelers on september 25, 2016.

Francis J. Deasey is a writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer. He believes that these actions being taken place are unruly towards the United States.

“Unquestionably, we are an imperfect and flawed country, where bigotry, racial inequality and social injustice exist. But the notion that the American flag created or perpetuates these social ills is simply wrong. It is people who create and perpetuate these social ills and, unfortunately, some of these people wear the American flag on their sleeve. However, to link those individuals with our flag is both disrespectful and unappreciative of those who proudly wear the flag on their sleeve,” said Deasey. “It promotes division, not healing, and disrespects those that proudly wear the American flag on their sleeve as an emblem of what is good in this country.”

Kaepernick’s act of protest has spread not only across the NFL, but even to high school and college sporting events. Fourteen WNBA players from three teams protested in the playoffs. Star soccer player Megan Rapinoe took a knee during the anthem during a NWSL game, and later when representing the U.S. national team. Gold medal swimmer Anthony Ervin raised a fist as the anthem played during a meet in Brazil.

According to, protests during the anthem have occurred in at least 52 high schools, 35 colleges, one middle school, and two youth leagues in 34 states across the country. For instance, a school in Naples, Florida, students knelt during the National Anthem, the Principal made a announcement towards her student body.

“You will stand, and you will stay quiet. If you don’t, you are going to be sent home, and you’re not going to have a refund of your ticket price,” said the Principal.

This went against a supreme court ruling that says a public school can not force students to salute the American Flag. That is just another example of how people view this protest. It is either to stand for something important or disrespectful.

People Identify the flag with almost everything they hold dear on earth, peace, security, liberty, family,  friends and home. But when they look at the flag and behold it emblazoned with all the rights people must remember that it is equally a symbol of our duties. Every glory that is associated with is a result of duty done.