Is It worth fighting and risking everything for something you believe in? Many people take the risk to fight for things they believe in. Colin Kaepernick, a professional football player, is one of the many people who fight for what they believe in no matter the cost. On August 26, 2016, he gained attention from the media for protesting in silent. Protesting in silence? Yes, he protested in silence by not standing up for the national anthem before the football game started. He argued that he refused to stand for the national anthem to protest the racial discrimination and the police brutality in this country. Many people who have a strong respect for this country are against his protest and think he should stop because he is disrespecting the country. They argued that there are other ways to protest. Yes, there are other ways to protest, but this is the best way to protest because this is a peaceful way to protest that will not lead to violence, and as a United States citizen Colin Kaepernick has the right to choose whether he wants to stand for the national anthem.
What is the national anthem and why are people against Colin not standing for the national anthem? The United States national anthem, The Star-Spangle Banner, is a song that represents the country, but to most Americans, it is not just a song representing the country it is more. As stated in The Historic Present website, “…it catches a moment of great importance in our nation’s history and reminds us just how many millions of Americans over the centuries have burned with anxiety for this country, and seen it through very difficult times. It’s not a blood-thirsty, militaristic song, but a narrative of military triumph allowing for the continued moral victory of democracy.” The national anthem is a song that represents the greatness of America, so by refusing to stand for the national anthem Americans see that he is disrespecting the country, and want him to stop the protest. What many people do not see is the reason he is doing it. As one of Colin’s supporters stated, “I mean, I think people were kind of too quick to critique whether or not he should stand for the national anthem but they don’t critique the message that he was expressing, the sentiment. … We always like to talk about the response. We don’t talk about what led to that response”(The Undefeated). This person is saying that more attention was given to the way he was protesting rather than to the reason he was protesting. Colin stated that he refuses to, “Show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Colin is not disrespecting the flag or the country he just chooses not to represent a flag that represents a country that discriminates the minorities, or a small group of people that have a distinctive presence within the society.
Protesting is a way in which people take action to show disapproval of something. Minorities protest racial discrimination they fight for equality. The United States is a diverse country, which means it is a country filled with different types of races. For people that are not white, it is difficult to them to be in the United States and face the racial discrimination. For many years minorities have been protesting fighting for equality, but every time there was a protest it involved violence. Riots are a form of protest, but they involve violence and destruction. In 1992 when four police officers were found not guilty of beating a black man by the name of Rodney King, people were furious and started riots which later came to be known as the “L.A. riots.” These riots came to be the worst riots in L.A. “…the city of Los Angeles erupted in the worst rioting seen in the US since the 1960s. The loss of life and destruction of property left a significant scar on the city.” (Race and Riots). The L.A. riots were a formed to protest the fact that the police officers got away with beating a black man. After the riots, no one wanted to experience them again. These are the types of protest that people should be against.
People protest to fight for equality. Colin Kaepernick is protesting to stop the racial discrimination and police brutality. As a professional football player, he has a lot of fame and took advantage of that fame to make his opinion public. His fame helped him a lot because he was able to get people to protest the same way he is protesting, but by starting this protest, he put his career on the line, he could lose his job as a football player. He stated, “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Colin is aware of all the racial problems that are going on and wants to bring attention to these problems. He did not want to bring attention to this problem, by starting riots he found a peaceful way of bringing attention to these problems even though he could lose his job.
Colin Kaepernick found a way to protest that was not going to cause any violence. He decided to not stand for the national anthem that is done before every football game. By doing so he gained attention from the media, and his protest started gaining more attention to the public. Colin’s way of protesting is the best way to protest because there is no violence involved. There are people arguing that he is wrong in protesting this way, but what is so wrong with protesting the way he is? He is not doing anything bad, as a citizen of the United States, he has the right to stand or sit for the national anthem. It seems that every time there is a protest of a minority group looking for equality, it is wrong for them to protest according to the majority group. In the end between both protests, the L.A. riots and Colin’s protest had the same outcome they both gained attention from the public, but Colin’s way caused no violence, and no one to get hurt.
- “Colin Kaepernick explains why he sat during national anthem.” NFL.com, http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000691077/article/colin-kaepernick-explains-why-he-sat-during-national-anthem. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.
- InstantRHIplay. “A comprehensive aggregation of Colin Kaepernick supporters, haters and everyone in between.” The Undefeated, The Undefeated, 2 Sept. 2016, theundefeated.com/features/a-comprehensive-aggregation-of-colin-kaepernick-supporters-haters-and-everyone-in-between/. Accessed 18 Sept. 2017.
- Matheson, Victor A., and Robert A. Baade. “Race and riots: A note on the economic impact of the Rodney King riots.” Urban Studies13 (2004): 2691-2696.
- Sandritter, Mark. “All the athletes who joined Kaepernick’s national anthem protest.” com, SBNation.com, 11 Sept. 2016, http://www.sbnation.com/2016/9/11/12869726/colin-kaepernick-national-anthem-protest-seahawks-brandon-marshall-nfl. Accessed 12 Sept. 2017.
- “What does the United States national anthem mean?” The Historic Present, 4 Jan. 2017, thehistoricpresent.com/2011/06/29/what-does-the-united-states-national-anthem-mean/.Accessed 7 Sept. 2017.