NFL players have captured the headlines of recent sports stories through their protest. Established by self-proclaimed Fidel Castro supporter Colin Kaepernick, the NFL kneeling protest has gained the spotlight once again due to Donald Trump’s twitter rampage.
There are very few current events more controversial and heated than the proliferation of NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. Whereas some perceive this action as heroic and persuasive, others view it as unpatriotic and hateful.
According to a Fox news survey, 32% found kneeling during the national anthem appropriate in 2016 and that number is now up to 41%. While those who found it inappropriate made up 61% of those polled in 2016, that number decreased to 55%.
In kneeling for the anthem, players believe they are protesting police brutality against black youths. With a large audience of viewers each week, these football players use their platform to promote their opinions on social justice. An issue arises, however, in the morality of their method.
Kneeling during the anthem is blatantly disrespectful to our military that put their lives on the line every day in order to protect our freedoms. The flag of the United States of America represents more than just fifty states making up one country. Over 1 million soldiers from every race, social class, and religion have died fighting under the American flag for this great nation.
We should all stand for the flag as equals under God and country in support of the American ideals of freedom, democracy, and individual liberty. To do otherwise is to create unethical divisions between American brothers and sisters.
On the other hand, it must be made clear that these football players have every right under the Constitution to kneel during the anthem. Their right to free speech is protected by the first amendment and fought for by our military. Whether people agree with them or not, they are breaking no American laws by engaging in peaceful protest.
Likewise, the NFL can do whatever they want with their employees. They do not have to fire them, as President Trump proposes they do, but they also do not have to promote their views. The NFL as an organization has made little effort to change what is happening and this has caused outrage among patriots.
President Trump and conservatives hold the right to critique the NFL and call them out for what they believe to be an anti-American stance. Contrary to what the Left desires everyone to believe, as president, Trump does not lose his first amendment rights to hold an opinion on social issues, although he should not have brought attention to the issue in the first place.
The NFL players kneeling are of one of the most privileged groups in American society. They are paid millions of dollars to entertain people through a sport once a week. Unfortunately for them, their salaries are obtained through people attending games or watching them on television. Because this anti-American protest continues, patriots across the United States are enraged and viewers and fans are dropping like flies.
Overall, Americans must realize their rights as individuals, but also discern the moral thing to do. The players, spectators, coaches, and even the President all have the right to free speech under the first amendment. However, if the NFL seeks to keep its league from dying off due to patriotic boycotting, they must take action against this protest.
By: Paul Marselus