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Why are NFL Players Taking Knee?

Those who oppose taking a knee might just be misinformed about what started the movement.

Colin+Kaepernick%2C+free+agent+football+quarterback+for+the+49ers.
Colin Kaepernick, free agent football quarterback for the 49ers.

Colin Kaepernick, free agent football quarterback for the 49ers.

Brook Ward

Brook Ward

Colin Kaepernick, free agent football quarterback for the 49ers.

Javonne Crumby, Contributor

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The controversy surrounding NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem is undoubtedly garnering more attention. Yet the disapproval of this movement, sparked by Colin Kaepernick, seems to have an underlying issue. People seem to disapprove of who are protesting and what they think is being protested.

Kaepernick took a knee last season due to the racial injustices targeting Black Americans, namely police brutality. Most of the NFL players in solidarity of the movement are Black. However, the people who are opposing this exercise of the first amendment feel the protests are disrespecting the U.S. flag.

President Trump said, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now! Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!’”

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah called out Trump and others for criticizing the way Black people protest. He showed a clip of Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin who said “It’s not about free speech, they can do that on their own time. They have their right to have their first amendment off the field.”

Noah also pointed out the racist tweet by former republican congressman, Joe Walsh in response to Stevie Wonder kneeling during his own concert (and his own time).

“Stevie Wonder takes a knee for the anthem during a concert. Another ungrateful black multi-millionaire” Walsh’s tweet read. Noah questioned his use of the word “ungrateful”.

“Ungrateful to whom? This idea that Black people should be grateful is some sneaky a—racism! When a white billionaire spends a year screaming that America is a disaster, he’s in touch with the country. But when a black man kneels quietly, he should be grateful for the successes America has ‘allowed’ him to have?”

Cal State LA students weighed in on the protests. Richard Gutierrez, who disagrees with kneeling during the national anthem said, “The flag represents the U.S. as a country. Although I do not agree with things that are happening in our country I respect the flag.”

Nyja Clayter who is a veteran, said “America is turning a blind eye to the actual reasons for this protest, by trying to focus on the flag and its anthem. It’s not about either of those, it’s about protesting inequality in the justice system and against bad police officers. This entire Trump, flag, and anthem narrative is just another way to ignore our pleas and protest.”

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Why are NFL Players Taking Knee?