18 Feb Do you believe kneeling to protest during the national anthem disrespects the troops?
Kneeling to protest is quickly transforming into one of the most popular ways of defiance. It all began in 2016 when San Francisco 49ers quarterback – Colin Kaepernick chose to kneel while the national anthem was being played before the start of NFL games. He later stated that this was an attempt to protest racial injustice and systematic oppression of African-American people in the United States.
This became a vastly discussed subject in the media. The negative responses included USA President Donald Trump saying that professional athletes who protest during the US national anthem should be fired while positive responses included other athletes and celebrities publicly donning Kaepernick jerseys to voice support.
Proponents proudly captured the internet with messages like – “Refusing to stand for the National anthem is an acceptable manner of protest and is protected by the First Amendment.”
Colin Kaepernick said, “I’m 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.” Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, who also knelt during the national anthem, said, “The message is I’m against social injustice… I’m not against the military or police or America at all.”
Many other athletes have since followed the trend and have continued kneeling.
Shirley Carole Isham, the direct descendant of Francis Scott Key, the author the Star Spangled Banner, said she was heartbroken that Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem to protest social injustice. Isham criticized the manner Colin decided to highlight the oppression of African Americans. “It’s very painful for me,’’ Isham said. “It just blows my mind that somebody like (Kaepernick) would do what he does to dishonor the flag of this country and the national anthem when we have young men and women overseas fighting for this county, people that have died for this country.”
Not all descendants of Francis Scott Key share Isham’s opinion. Suzanne Key Boyle Herrmann, who is a second cousin of Key, expressed support for Kaepernick. “He had every right to do what he did,” said Herrmann, 73, a social worker who lives in Morristown Township, N.J.” And because of what he did it has sparked conversation and conversation is so healthy in this country to have on the issues of equality and rights.”
The controversy continued as the President continued to tweet about the issue and others contributed opinions for and against kneeling during the anthem.
L et’s listen to a few comments by Military Veterans –
Rocio Serna – U.S. Army veteran[i]
“I feel that the affairs of NFL players are somewhat trivial at the feet of the United States president. I study psychology, and we look at everything as a symptom of something bigger—of a deeper issue. NFL protesting is just a symptom of a deep-rooted issue. President Trump needs to be focusing on the deep-rooted issues, not the symptom.”
Michael Rodriguez – Green Beret veteran
“I just think they don’t know what they’re doing. Ignorance is the watchword right now. I’ll be honest, I pity them. I feel sorry for them because they don’t realize the luxuries and safety and freedoms they’re blessed with. That’s what the flag represents: everything they’re blessed with, the millions of dollars these guys have, all the luxuries they have.”
In a nutshell, proponents justify the action considering it a legal form of peaceful protest under the First Amendment. Opponents consider it disrespectful to the country and the people who have risked their lives or died defending the United States.
You have invested your lives to protect the country’s sovereignty! What are your thoughts? Do you consider kneeling to protest as disrespectful towards the troops?
[i] 4 Veterans Respond to NFL National Anthem Protests. https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/a13788869/4-veterans-nfl-national-anthem-protests/
Suck My PPPosted at 15:53h, 07 April
This is complete and utter bull. Watching these people disrespect that beautiful piece of cloth. George Bush did 9/11 and I don’t wanna hear it. Osama Bin Laden is dead but george bush did it.
Sam RulonPosted at 16:44h, 31 March
I am taking an ethics class, and this class has changed my opinion on this matter. I was that person who criticized Colin Kaepernick for kneeling. “How dare he disrespect America’s flag like that! I fought for that flag!” But is that really what he is doing? He even said himself that he is kneeling because of police brutality. What would you do to make a stand against police brutality? He was fed up of all the racism that police officers were dishing crap out to the minority. As white people we don’t face even the tiniest bit of crap that anyone of color faces. Get over yourself if you think you do. There are colleges that don’t accept people based off of their skin color, there are jobs that won’t hire someone because they dress or look different, and there are schools that get more funding and donations because they have more white people in their schools. Our world is racist and until we finally see and acknowledge that, we can never be free.
I fought for that flag and almost lost my life because of it. I was hit by shrapnel from an RPG in Iraq and almost died. I fought for the flag but I do not like or agree with how our government is treating people of color: black, Asian, Mexican, Native Americans, etc. So I do not stand for our flag because I do not agree with what our country stands for. I WILL stand for protecting our country, to fight if I ever need to again, and I will support our government. Kaepernick still pays taxes, obeys the law and is a good citizen, he just doesn’t like how his government is treating him. What would you do if your government was treating you unfairly, while you are “free”?
allijaden0107Posted at 14:54h, 04 March
Kneeling for the flag is so wrong. First it’s very ignorant and selfish. These guys have all these luxuries and are very blessed. Think about all the women and men that go and risk their lives to protect people like Kaepernick . Think about all the little boys and girls that do not have moms and dad’s by their sides because they are busy protecting this country. And since black people and polices are so bad in America. You can buy a one-way- ticket to Mexico if you would like.. If you do not like it here get out.
P bPosted at 03:38h, 13 February
Athletes aren’t exempt from showing respect for America and those who have fought and risked their lives for all. By not standing for our National Anthem is disrespectful to every American citizen and anyone else who appreciates their freedom and our America. The very least athletes could do is stand up and place their hands on their hearts with great gratitude. Otherwise leave and live in another country. They are owed nothing, are overpaid to play and this is not the place and time for them to express their political racism views. If anything…that behavior creates racism!
PBLPosted at 03:29h, 13 February
It is incredibly disrespectful for NFL or any athlete to kneel during our National Anthem. Being an athlete dies not give them the right in any shape or form. They have not won anything. If they don’t respect our country then go live in another one. It is disrespectful to every American citizen and to our notary who have sacrificed their lives for everyone including these athletes. It us not the place or time for athletes to show ot share their thoughts on racism.
Trevor JonesPosted at 21:07h, 24 February
I’m sorry you or your loved ones risked their lives but I never would. I would dodge any draft or refuse to fight. Because I do not believe in what this country stands for. Capitalism by exploitation. Pushing addictive and unhealthy foods. Its all wrong to me and if your war disabled vet father finds that disrespectful than he should remember that I HAVE THE RIGHT TO FEEL THIS WAY. And how fucking dare you and him disrespect the constitution that this country was built on by telling me how I have to act while the national anthem is playing. Forcing solidarity is fascism.
LetitiaPosted at 09:52h, 15 January
Man, to hell with that flag. It has never did anything for me and I refuse to pledge my allegiance to a cloth but only God. This you can’t make me do.
HaydenPosted at 19:55h, 06 March
You should at least thank the people that died for you freedoms, unless you wish to live in a corrupt country.
JessePosted at 03:00h, 31 December
How one treats the symbol of our freedom is a determining factor on how they should be treated sir, would you let somebody get away with shitting on your Mothers grave?
Karri BarrowPosted at 19:51h, 21 December
My Dad is 100% service disabled like many others out there and the ” Take a Knee” movement is disrespectful to those that fought and died for this country and everyone that live here. If you hate America so badly then leave. If you feel so strong about a cause then fix it the thing is after Kapernick started this knee bit he didn’t even vote at the election. So that tells you he is nothing but all talk no action he don’t really care about anything or anyone but himself. Also I will never by a pair of Nike shoes again because unlike him I will fight for what I believe. To every military person who reads this I want to say Thank You for serving our great country.
PCPosted at 15:33h, 17 December
I completely agree with Nar. I’m a vet also and in no way find kneeling disrespectful. In most cultures kneeling is a sign of respect. He chose to kneel at the behest of a former NFL player and US veteran, as to not disrespect the flag. There are many people who exercise their right not to stand for the Anthem just as many Americans chose for their children not to be forced to say the pledge of allegiance in school. Stop trying to change the narrative and impose your beliefs on someone else. What you may think it’s un-American is very American to someone else. I joined the U S military to protect that very right.
PCPosted at 15:30h, 17 December
I completely agree with Nar. I’m a vet also and in no way find kneeling disrespectful. In most cultures kneeling is a sign of respect. He chose to kneel at the behest of former NFL player and US veteran, as to not disrespect the flag. There are many people who exercise their right not to stand for the Anthem just as many Americans chose for their children not to be forced to say the pledge of allegiance in school. Stop trying to change the narrative and impose your beliefs on someon else. What you may think it’s un-American is very American to someone else. I joined the U S military to protect that very right.
Jordan VelezPosted at 12:25h, 03 February
I disagree. It is that very attitude that ruins the history of this country. If you come to America, you choose to be apart of something. Something that obviously an individual wanted to be part of. If you choose to be part of something you can’t take it “a la carte” and only take what you want. Only doing what works for you doesn’t help anything. All it does is make Americans change their morals and stance on their country. If a person is here that believes that should be the case then they are here for self service and not that that holds the best interest of the USA. As for the kneeling, you have a right to protest when and how it was done is disrespectful. You stand for those who give you your freedom. You protest on your time your dollar.
aintfoolingmePosted at 13:14h, 12 December
To the kneelers who really believe they are helping a nation heal and be on one accord, you should be ashamed to teach our youth the flag symbolizes anything other than the hopes and dreams of a nation.
All law enforcement agents are not law breakers and all people of color are not criminals.
Why not do something to create jobs, or teach our youth what happens to our young men in jails and prisons and now our young women.
Why not take your millions that you are giving away and help youth at risk in being forced to join a gang.
Or build community centers where they can go to get off the streets. Why not open trade centers where they can go and learn a trade.
Why not protest against low hanging pants and the showing of bras and panties?
You have no regards as to how your actions are being perceived by our youth or what they will do with the perception and how many will die at the hands of those rogue law enforcement agents who are looking for a reason to kill.
You make your millions and create strife and dare to use the flag as your symbol of hate, the same flag that my Daddy defended as did many before him for you and your fellow ball players to be free to play ball and get rich on the backs of those you say you are fighting for.
BrayPosted at 17:53h, 06 December
I understand that he has the rights to do this. I just don’t think that not respecting the military has ANYTHING to do with police brutality. He should organize another event to say this.
Daniel MillerPosted at 07:03h, 05 December
I truly do not understand how kneeling during our countries is protesting against police departments. There are police departments throughout the world not just in the US. Our countries anthem is also representing more than just police. As I respect law enforcement disrespecting the entire country is not a way to protest one part of our country. How about the military, fire, EMS, truck drivers, store clerks, gas attendants and so on.
NarPosted at 18:53h, 25 November
As a Vet I say in no way is it disrespectful. To hear veterans who swore to uphold and protect the Constitution cry about someone exercising their freedom is pathetic. Stop getting caught up YOUR feelings. Whether a person stands or doesn’t stand is not a determining factor for how they should be treated. The Amish don’t stand for the national anthem. Jehovah Witnesses don’t stand it. I don’t hear people bashing them. This was never about the troops. The people who are bashing them are not doing it in defense of the flag or the troops. They are doing it because they don’t care about the issue that was raised and they damn sure don’t want to talk about.
Ben HerringtonPosted at 09:13h, 22 November
If we really served for freedoms like freedom of speech, we wouldn’t think to restrict someone’s use of that right. You either served to uphold and defend the rights guaranteed in the constitution or you didn’t. No grey area. You don’t have to agree with the protest to agree with the right to protest. We’re supposed to be the land of the free, let’s be brave enough to actually be that…
Tahnya F DorseyPosted at 03:42h, 20 November
There are other more respectful ways to protest. The flag is draped over a dead serviceman’s body when they die. That same flag stands for all that have perished for this flag. A flag should unite, not be used as a tool for politics. In fact if you did this in the military I think you’d be Court marshalled. I watched service men die for a cause they believed in only for it to be used as a political tool. You wouldn’t have the country you have if it weren’t for these brave men and women…I fill those ranks as well… If you want to protest, do it like Martin Luther King. But don’t disrespect my flag. It is counter productive.
BrayPosted at 17:54h, 06 December
He shouldnt be doing this here it should be at a different event
steve aldrichPosted at 20:40h, 18 November
I don’t care what the protesters say; I still believe the action of kneeling during the National Anthem shows disrespect toward veterans! The kneelers may in fact believe they are protesting something else, but it still comes across as disrespectful of veterans.
Derreal JohnsonPosted at 15:10h, 01 November
Yes. First we don’t pay football players to hear their political views, we pay them to play football. This is a sad situation and one that really only exist because of the lack of leadership from coaches. If I were the coach I could solve this problem in one day simply by saying: “As long as your on my team, you either stand for the national anthem or get off of the field. If you’re on the field and don’t stand, you’re not going to play the game, and if you do it twice your off the team”.
Jackie Clayton Wells Jr.Posted at 17:49h, 22 September
Players not standing during the National Anthem should be escorted out of our United States and band from ever coming back…….protest on your on time !!
Walter D. JohnsonPosted at 22:16h, 09 September
I went out to unfurl the flag on my house. It was wind-furled and raining. I was sad Old Glory was wet and furled. As I unfurled her it occurred to me that she had stood through a little more than rain and wind. She’ll stand through this. She is actually way above all this. She represents freedom to all those who struggle to come here, even to those who despise her, trample her and burn her in effigy. Old Glory has flown over trampled enemies; Nazi, Rising Sun, Jihads. Who intended to bring her down. She has been carried by her boys and girls, tattered, holed, burnt ad bloodied. The ignorant few will never out weigh the mass of veterans who bled, died, limp and roll, to see her fly in prosperity pride, and freedom. My flag wind-furled and rain soaked flag is a symbol of all that is great about America. Symbols are very difficult to destroy. Long may She wave.
PS. A bunch of kneeling-rich-guys can’t harm the National Anthem either. It’s about a symbol!
Long may it play.
George Perez-StillwagonPosted at 07:00h, 29 December
Yes. The USA Flag, Our National Anthem, and Troops should be left out of any protest, personal gain etc. We cannot use what has built America as a tool for a protest no matter what the issue is.