The NFL Anthem Protests and How They Affect Us

The NFL Anthem Protests and How They Affect Us

Author Adithcharan Thyagarajan

  Washington Redskin’s players kneeling and standing for the national anthem. Photo by Keith Allison.

Washington Redskin’s players kneeling and standing for the national anthem. Photo by Keith Allison.

It is officially 1:00 PM in Sunday. Millions of Americans wake up to watch the glorious game known as football. As the national anthem plays, there is a unique sight. Players are kneeling when the anthem is played. What are the players trying to say? Who started this? How does this affect us ? Well, as a passionate football fan, I do not know some of these questions’ answers. Ready to explore the vast depths of the popular NFL anthem protests?

Originally, I was convinced that this was disrespectful and unfair to America as our flag represents our nation. The creator of the National Anthem Protest was Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick was influenced by Nate Boyer, a veteran Green Beret. Nate Boyer explained to him that when soldiers fall, other soldiers take a knee. So, Kaepernick decided to do so, except kneeling for the victims of police brutality and racism. 

Players followed Kaepernick for the same reason and started to take a knee. According to Mapping Police Violence, cities with low crime rates kill more people than the cities with high crime rates. This has an effect on the NFL anthem protests

After learning this information, I decided to interview local CSW students and asking them for their views.  Local freshman Andrew Arce expressed his opinion on the NFL Protests. “ I feel they are very disrespectful. I agree that it shouldn’t be tolerated any further and players should be suspended.”  Another local freshman, Joey Tweed, had a similar response. “I find it disrespectful. People who kneel should be suspended. Cowboys are the best!” ( That last part he requested me to add).

Alexander Kenney, another freshman, had a different opinion. “ I believe it can be either side. I can see why players would kneel and why people disagree with it. I think the cause is good, but the approach isn’t.”

After listening to my peers express their opinions, I came up with a conclusion . I think that the National Anthem Protest is like a controversial call. There are some pros and cons, but it is tough to conclude and interpret. 

Overall, I believe there are two sides to blame here. I don’t think it is bad to kneel during our National Anthem. The players are exercising their first amendment rights, but freedom has boundaries. However, the message the players are conveying is good.  I think, like Alex, that the players should have a different approach to spreading their support for their message.  

This event has affected us students because we all have at least glimpsed at football and everyone knew about the NFL anthem protests. I think they affect us because we have different views and this opened up a different aspect of protests and informed us about them. Therefore, the effect on the students is pretty big. It shows us a different protest and whenever we discuss football, we don’t mention this because it shows us that there is always two sides to an argument. What do you believe?

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