The protest against black oppression by kneeling during the National Anthem has been waging in the NFL since Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, began kneeling in the 2016 preseason. His intent was to stand up, pun intended, to the racial inequality faced by black people. Now, over a year later, it has evolved into a large scale movement, present in colleges, high schools, and even in different sports. While some see it as a noble act, others view it as disrespectful to the Nation. The question of the matter is, “Should NFL players kneel during the National Anthem?”
Many of the Oracle Newspaper Staff agreed that the NFL players should not kneel during the National Anthem, nine voting no, seven voting yes, and one abstained.
The majority were able to come up with several reasons why kneeling is not okay. Among the reasons was that their political views should be kept separate from their jobs.
“I feel like they shouldn’t kneel because they’re being paid to play, not being paid to make
a political stance, and the rebellion that they’re showing, even though it is their form of free speech, just has no place in that kind of environment,” said Opinion Editor Marielyssa Hernandez.
“Politics does not belong in the workplace, I personally think. People don’t go to football games for a big old political protest,” said Editor-In-Chief Joey Menendez.
Another reason some said the players should not kneel was that there are better ways that players could have handled the situation.
“I would love to see these people donate money, and help these organizations that would support their causes. I think that would be fantastic. And I think it’s a worthy cause. Not in the name of the NFL though,” said Adviser Kristen Crosby.
Others on staff agreed.
“It’s football. Don’t mix your politics with what you’re there to do. All you need to do is take your multi million dollar salary and go start some kind of organization and actually do something about it,” Senior Staff Writer Jack Comiskey.
The question of whether or not the protest has even brought forth any change was also mentioned, because of how focused people are on the action being disrespectful instead of the true message.
“Their purpose for drawing attention towards racial inequality and other issues within the American system, it doesn’t even really matter because everyone’s so focused on how angry they are at the fact that they won’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance,”said Menendez.
Some feel that kneeling during the National Anthem is disrespect towards not only the country but also the men who have fought and currently fighting for it.
“A lot of veterans I know are also very offended by the fact that they won’t stand, because they say they aren’t respecting the country that they went to fight for,” said Menedez.
Others on staff disagreed, saying that these players should kneel for the flag and that it doesn’t represent any form of disrespect.
“They’re not kneeling to the flag because they don’t like the flag or they don’t like America, I think they’re doing it because that shows that they care about what happens in the country, and I feel like that’s another form of respect for the country, that they want it to be better than it is,” said Co-Opinion Editor Jordyn Dees.
Others agreed with this.
“I think that it’s their right, and their choice. I think that even during work, if you find something that goes against your political values or opinions, or personal beliefs, than by all means,” said Co-A&E Editor Madeleine Coreen.
NFL players should not kneel during the National Anthem, because politics should be left out of the workplace, and it can be viewed as disrespectful.
Solutions would be to continue the stand against Black oppression outside of the stadium, and in a more respectful fashion, such as donating to or joining organizations in support of the movement.
It’s not that the movement against racial oppression is a bad one, but there’s a time and a place for everything.
Nicholas Sowell // Co-Sports Editor