Well if you are a sports enthusiast then we are sure you are aware of the U.S. national anthem protest aka kneeling protest that has been going on for a while now. If you haven’t heard about the kneeling protest in the NFL, don’t worry about it. We will share with you the full story, what has caused this protest to take place and why it has divided America. Unlike many other reports on this phenomenon, this is an unbiased story on what actually happened.
The NFL players were kneeling during the national anthem just before every match they are about to play. This is their way of silently protesting against what they feel isn’t right and the injustice that they have noticed in the country. But how did it start and what caused the players to get involved?
When did the players start kneeling?
The movement was started by Colin Kaepernick, very popular quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers in August of 2016. At first, he sat down during the national anthem. At some point, he explained his action: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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.”
After speaking to a former football player and United States Army Ex-Green Beret Nate Boyer, he came to an understanding that kneeling during the national anthem would be more appropriate than sitting. Boyer suggested kneeling because people kneel when praying and soldiers keel in front of a fallen brother’s grave.
What was the reason for the protest?
The reason why the nfl players are kneeling down before the national anthem is the way of protesting against the racial inequality and brutality of the police. Colin Kaepernick’s started a month after Philando Castile and Alton Sterling Police Shootings.
The videos of the shooting unarmed black men went viral and there have been questions raised after that, why some policemen don’t serve jail time even after killing the innocent people. They want people to identify the brutality of the police against some sections of the society.
How many NFL players participated in U.S. national anthem protests?
At the beginning it was only a few players protesting, Kaepernick’s teammate, Eric Reid, was the first one to follow. In week 3 of the 2017 season, over 200 players sat or knelt during the anthem. By Week 17 only seven players still knelt.
Why are people against this protest?
People who are opposing the kneeling protest, feel that refusing to stand for the US National Anthem is disrespectful to the soldiers who fought and died to preserve the very freedom national anthem and flag represent. Basically, they feel that the flag is the one symbol that you all Americans should respect, no matter what the cause.
Is this a political protest?
Politics has its way to get involved in everything. This protest became a hot political subject when President Trump expressed his opinion against the kneeling in September of 2017. This caused the week 3 popularity mentioned in the previous paragraph.
Kneeling in the 2018 season
The protest is still going on, but it is not as massive as it was at some point. In the first week of September only 2 players kneeled, 1 sat and several others either left the field or showed the protest by raising their fist.