Justin Ngo/Contributing Photos
National Anthem Crisis
Should you kneel, stand, or sit?
October 11, 2017
National Anthem Crisis
Updated October 16, 2017 at 5 p.m.
The protests began with the NFL player, Colin Kaepernick, nearly thirteen months ago and his motivations were clear. He was bringing awareness towards police brutality and the racial inequality present in the U.S. and his protest was widely discussed. The player engaged in a hiatus from football and now the protests gained traction through Donald’s Trump tweet.
On Sept. 25th, Donald Trump wrote a tweet calling out the players for their protest and how it disrespects veterans and the U.S. This tweet help acted like a catalyst and motivated some players to protest less, but others protested more than ever. The motivations behind the current protests are either against Donald Trump, police brutality, or racial inequality.
The protests have been supported by some veterans, athletes, and even students here on campus. Basketball player Frank Banks, who is studying kinesiology have to said, “I understand the motivation behind their protests and how they don’t tolerate police brutality and the racial problems in America. I also understand how the song was made for veterans, but it doesn’t matter if people disrespect the flag because people of color are still getting disrespected.”
Another form of protesting observed is raising a fist in solidarity of racial inequality and police brutality. This form of protesting also refers towards the Black Panther movement and this form of protesting hasn’t been commented on. Some athletes like Frank Banks also claim how the national anthem have direct historical roots of slavery and racism.
The athletic director, Duncan Steven said, “I think it’s creating a conversation in the U.S. about injustice and inequality. We don’t have a policy on protesting, but we allow our players to express their freedom of speech and protest.”
Veteran student, Nathan DiCarlo, who is studying graphic design said, “They make a good point by bringing awareness to police brutality and racial equality. It’s a silent protest and their exercising their rights. The same constitutional rights that I fought for them. “
Operations manager, Doug Carson said, “I think Colin Kaepernick and the other players have a constitutional right to protest, but the owners can choose to fire the players as well. “
Part of the source for the protests can be found in a verse of the national anthem. It refers to “hirelings and slaves” and some have used it to highlight how the national anthem has direct racism and mention of slavery. It also could also be taken as a metaphorical sense, as hirelings refers to the poorer class.
As more people become engaged in the protest, it will continue to evolve. One thing is for certain, it is an issue that will not fade.