Hundreds of years ago when the National Anthem of the United States was born I doubt people ever thought that this song would bring about such controversy, conversation, debate and uproar…that one football player could challenge the nation to consider the importance and reverence of this American tradition.
Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, protested the National Anthem for the first time on August 26 during a preseason game. He was seen sitting on the bench as the National Anthem was played.
His actions garnered nationwide attention and he later stated: “I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
Since the games that followed, Kaepernick has taken a knee during the National Anthem and has been joined by other players throughout the NFL, and even professional athletes of other sports. Kaepernick decided that taking a knee would not disrespect the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our country, but still make his message known.
Tens of players have followed suit and continue to raise awareness nationwide. Kaepernick claims to be using his platform as an NFL quarterback to spread his message, even announcing that he would donate $1 million to the charities that focus on racial issues.
I think this issue has become a bit of a frenzy. People want to talk about it, people want to see what Kaepernick does at the start of every National Anthem, everyone wants to see pictures, watch the games to see this protest unfold…people love to consume this topic. Is what Kaepernick did right or wrong? That is simply an opinion, but the media has certainly brought this story to precedence.