Kneeling with Pride




The United States is a land of many great things. The level of advancement in America is untouchable when compared to other nations. It would be biased to ignore the mastery the U.S. holds in quality of life, opportunity, and economic benefits. However, though the U.S. is seemingly an un touchable force, by no means is this nation perfect. To be impartial one must state the good and the bad of this country, factually, leaving behind personal predispositions.

Slavery, Jim Crow Laws, and The Trail of Tears are all examples of terrible events that took place on this great land. We must understand why the National Football League (NFL) players are kneeling; it is to not only acknowledge these events, but to understand that because of those events and others like it, oppression is present today, racism is present today, and the senseless crimes committed by law enforcement are present and accepted today.

Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL player stated, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a fag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” This statement is one of the reasons why some NFL players are currently kneeling. Not because they are trying to disrespect the national anthem and definitely not because they are trying to disrespect the brave women and men risking their lives every day to protect our country, but, instead, to shine a light on the prejudice that still exists in our “great” nation today.

Photo by Mike Morbeck

It is more than that, it is about the many people of color that have died: Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, Elisha Walker, Samuel DuBose, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Laquan McDonald, Tamir Rice, Gregory Gunn, Natasha McKenna.

These are the names of a few of the many people that have died as a result of police brutality. You might know some of their names but you probably don’t know most of them and that is because every year, an excessive amount of our brothers and sisters are gunned down, beaten up, and degraded. We don’t all enjoy certain freedoms and this is seen through the extent of cruelty that many communities have suffered these past years.

NFL players are also kneeing because the national anthem is a fallacy. How can a country claim its people are free and still kill innocent people based on the color of their skin? The U.S. has experienced numerous murders of minorities, solely based on their skin color. The amount of individuals of color that have died without reason is ridiculous. We are captives, not free. The Star Strangle Banner is simply a mere fairy tale for the majority to parade around. The national anthem does not fully represent this nation, and the NFL players and other activists that speak against it are speaking against the injustices that many in this nation face.

Michael Sand a former Green Beret and a man from a family of military service members stated “it is precisely for men like Colin Kaepernick, and his right to peacefully protest injustice, that we were willing to serve.” Beret shows his support for the NFL players kneeling because he clearly indicates that he supports the players for practicing their rights, as Americans to protest. If our service men support our NFL players kneeling, then we can too.