Racism and change. Two words that create an uncomfortable situation for all, and now those two words are being brought into light by National Football League players kneeling during the national anthem, which many find offensive for reasons that are invalid and faulty.
It all started with ex-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a preseason game, not standing for the national anthem. Now, it has escalated to whole teams standing in the tunnel during the national anthem.
This simple act has made many angry, but yet they refuse to acknowledge the fact that there are many other ways the national anthem is being disrespected. For example, at Chiefs games, fans yell “Chiefs” instead of “brave” during the final line of the national anthem home of the brave. Also, according to flag code, the flag should never be used as a marketing tool, for example, the many Trump items it is used on. The man who is leading the charge is in fact disrespecting the flag himself. People simple view the kneeling as offensive because it brings up a topic that makes them feel uncomfortable and unwilling to admit racism might be a problem we will have to face.
People also view the kneeling as offensive, due to it disrespecting the military men and women who have fought for our country and died for it. But, in fact, the kneeling is all about about racial inequality and never was it meant to offend the people who fought for our country. The men and women of our country do not fight to defend a flag they fight to defend the Constitution that gives every man, woman and child equal rights in a country. We go to wars to fight for democracy; our country is built on fighting for rights of people. From the Revolutionary War that started it all, to the Civil War where we fought members of our own country to gain freedom for African Americans, the flag is only a symbol, but the Constitution is our base; it is our nation. The only reason they are bringing to up as a disrespect to veterans is the fact they want to relate something to the kneelings that has nothing to do with it in hopes and stopping it.
Lastly, it has been asked, why do they not do something better to stop the racial inequality they believe is in the country? The fact of the matter is no amount of money can change any idea. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a campaign that was not built on money, but was built on spreading an idea that needed to be heard by the people of America. This kneeling is doing exactly what needs to be done; it is starting a spark in the hearts and minds of America. It is bringing a topic to light that needs to be talked about and discussed. If one cannot see that then, they are being blinded by ignorance.
The protest of the national anthem is not to disrespect veterans or the national anthem, and it is in fact one the best ways to bring a topic to light. This protest is to spark a change in the hearts and minds of Americans.
Article and photo by Braden Schwarz, Staff Business Manager