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Kneeling Is the Right Play for Some NFL Players

Players+from+the+Miami+Dolphins+kneel+to+make+a++statement+about+equal+treatment.+
Players from the Miami Dolphins kneel to make a  statement about equal treatment.

Players from the Miami Dolphins kneel to make a statement about equal treatment.

Players from the Miami Dolphins kneel to make a statement about equal treatment.

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On the first game of the NFL football season in London, England, the Jacksonville Jaguars played the Baltimore Ravens. But the 44 to 7 scoreline wasn’t what made headlines. What caused a national conversation was the fact that players either kneeled or interlocked arms — or both — during the national anthem.

The kneelers said they were bringing attention to the problem of excessive police force toward African-Americans. Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started it all last season by being the first to take a knee. The backlash he received possibly meant he was not signed by by any NFL during this season, despite his obvious talent as a one-time contender for league MVP. During his protest, he famously signalled to reporters his reason for taking his stand: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

More recently, President Donald Trump poured more flame on the debate by publicly calling kneeling players “sons of b*tches” and saying he would take joy in seeing them fired. He also said the NFL should change the policy on kneeling during the anthem to punish players who refuse to stand. “Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their national anthem or their country. NFL should change policy!” Trump tweeted.

I believe strongly that anyone has the right to express his opinion, but could it be that both sides are mis-reading the other’s side’s purposes? Trump believes that kneeling is disrespectful to both the country and to the military. What he fails to understand is that people are kneeling to make a statement against racial prejudice. Trump fails to see the kneelers are not even remotely contending with the military and that the players mean no disrespect toward those who serve. Many people think the football players have no right to kneel, and that it’s best that players focus on football matters and keep their politics private. But if everybody got fired for expressing their political opinions at work, then the unemployment rate would be 100 percent.

The national anthem is the song of our country and will always be respected. But as long as there is major turmoil in our nation, there will be protests to spread the word that people are against the mistreatment of minorities in categories of race, faith or sexuality.

So, the next time you want to stand up for something, it just might mean taking a knee.

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Kneeling Is the Right Play for Some NFL Players