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Sitting Down to Stand Up

Photo+of+Colin+Kaepernick+kneeling+via+http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sacbee.com%2Fsports%2Fnfl%2Fsan-francisco-49ers%2F58d2ud-Colin-Kaepernick-kneels-during-the-National-Anthem-in-final-49ers-preseason-football-game%2FALTERNATES%2FLANDSCAPE_1140%2FColin%2520Kaepernick%2520kneels%2520during%2520the%2520National%2520Anthem%2520in%2520final%252049ers%2520preseason%2520football%2520game+under+labeled+for+reuse
Photo of Colin Kaepernick kneeling via http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/58d2ud-Colin-Kaepernick-kneels-during-the-National-Anthem-in-final-49ers-preseason-football-game/ALTERNATES/LANDSCAPE_1140/Colin%20Kaepernick%20kneels%20during%20the%20National%20Anthem%20in%20final%2049ers%20preseason%20football%20game under labeled for reuse

Photo of Colin Kaepernick kneeling via http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/58d2ud-Colin-Kaepernick-kneels-during-the-National-Anthem-in-final-49ers-preseason-football-game/ALTERNATES/LANDSCAPE_1140/Colin%20Kaepernick%20kneels%20during%20the%20National%20Anthem%20in%20final%2049ers%20preseason%20football%20game under labeled for reuse

Photo of Colin Kaepernick kneeling via http://www.sacbee.com/sports/nfl/san-francisco-49ers/58d2ud-Colin-Kaepernick-kneels-during-the-National-Anthem-in-final-49ers-preseason-football-game/ALTERNATES/LANDSCAPE_1140/Colin%20Kaepernick%20kneels%20during%20the%20National%20Anthem%20in%20final%2049ers%20preseason%20football%20game under labeled for reuse

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The National Anthem before a football game used to revolve around a wonderful singing performance or an amazing flyover, but Colin Kaepernick has changed all of that. Now all eyes are on the San Francisco 49ers quarterback and other NFL players who have joined him in sitting or kneeling during the National Anthem.

Since the start of the season, Kaepernick has refused to stand for the National Anthem. He was finally noticed during the third preseason game when the head coach of the 49ers confirmed that Kaepernick was not standing in order to protest. After the game, Kaepernick told the media that he sat because of oppression and police brutality. Two days later, he met with NFL media and released a statement to nfl.com, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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.”

The big question that all of America is asking is, are Kaepernick’s actions morally correct? Is he creating a protest that will have an effect as great as Muhammad Ali’s? Or are his actions completely inappropriate?

Multiple teams, including the Dolphins, Seahawks, and Buccaneers have asked players that they stand in support of the National Anthem to show respect for their country. Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Jerry Rice, and Jim Harbaugh have all have spoken out against the quarterback saying that they understand the reason for his protest, but it is not appropriate to disrespect the National Anthem.

On the other hand, players including Brandon Marshall, Marcus Peters, Adrian Foster, and several others have supported Kaepernick in his movement by kneeling or raising a fist during the National Anthem. Responding to the protests, the NFL released a statement stating, “Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the National Anthem.”

While there are some supporters, the majority of America has responded to Kaepernick’s protest with disapproval. Many people have spoken out against Kaepernick and agree on the fact that it is wrong to sit out our nation’s song. While several people understand Kaepernick’s reasoning for protest, they still believe that the National Anthem is a strong symbol for Americans and ignoring it is inappropriate. ESPN recently released a study by E-Poll Marketing Research that asked 1,100 people which player they disliked the most. The poll revealed that Colin Kaepernick is the most disliked player in the league.

Locally, Air Academy’s own Varsity Quarterback, Max Raber, was asked what his thoughts were on the morality of Kaepernick’s actions. He replied, “I respect him for expressing himself and for the message he’s trying to assert; however, I disagree with the way he’s trying to do it.”

There have also been some consequences due to supporting Kaepernick’s protest. Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall lost two endorsement deals from Air Academy Federal Credit Union and Century Link. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe received a lot of hate from her team as she knelt for the National Anthem while representing the American National for women’s soccer, and received a mix of boos and cheers as she was subbed on to the field.

Looking towards the future, Kaepernick and other athletes who support him have said that they will continue to kneel or raise a fist during the National Anthem despite the controversy. The NFL has not commented on whether Kaepernick, who is entering his sixth season in the league, will receive repercussions for his protest.

49ers Logo.svgphoto via Wikipedia under Creative Commons license https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:San_Francisco_49ers_logos#/media/File:49ers_Logo.svg

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Sitting Down to Stand Up