Taking a Knee: Disrespectful or Definitively Free Speech?

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Michael Preston

More stories from Michael Preston

Mix+of+Redskin+players+kneeling+and+standing+for+our+anthem.+--+Google+Common+License+%0A%0A%0A%0A%0A%0A%0A%0A
Mix of Redskin players kneeling and standing for our anthem. -- Google Common License

Mix of Redskin players kneeling and standing for our anthem. -- Google Common License

Google Common License

Google Common License

Mix of Redskin players kneeling and standing for our anthem. -- Google Common License

Once-quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked a fire that fueled social turmoil not only in the NFL but all across America. In 2016, Kaepernick protested police brutality (specifically towards African-Americans) with a simple gesture: kneeling during our national anthem. Despite the peaceful approach to protesting, the reaction from players and politicians alike has been and continues to be immense and fierce. President Donald Trump has proved to be against the protest, tweeting “Two dozen NFL players continue to kneel during the National Anthem, showing total disrespect to our Flag & Country. No leadership in NFL!” Others praise Kaepernick for his call to action, as Time magazine describes the efforts as “The Perilous Fight” . The controversy is a larger reality than the NFL, and a question arises from the midst of chaos; is kneeling during our national anthem disrespectful or the definition of free speech? The answer is simple; it’s both.

One of the biggest arguments coming from the kneeling controversy is the correlation between our flag and national anthem, and the matter of police brutality on the other hand. There is  between the two; it makes as much sense as to kneel during a touchdown or a field goal. The reasoning to kneel is to protest Americans who tolerate police brutality, yet it is against the law to do so. From the newsrooms to the undeniable and justified anger from social media, there seems to be no acceptance of such disgusting crimes besides the policemen who commit them themselves. I’m sure groups of people that tolerate such crimes exist, but the majority of Americans that I have at least met do not think such crimes are just. I am not against what these players stand for, but I am against the way they are protesting.

Another controversial topic is the right to kneel during our national anthem. While some say it’s not your choice to make, with President Trump ordering a petition to combat the protest, it is a basic right. The Supreme Court does not encourage such actions but do protect the rights of these players. It’s considered proper edicate to stand for our anthem, not mandatory. Americans have the right to freedom of speech, therefore having the right to kneel. We must remember that others also have the right to speak against the kneeling, but do not have the right to stop it. The are protesting peacefully, and as long as no physical harm is done, they have the right to continue.

This conversation is far from over; the friction between the two sides continues to grow. As the tensions rise and as we pursue to question our rights, we must remember the humanity that holds us together. We need to talk, and we need to talk peacefully.

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/sports/colin-kaepernick-nfl-protests.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fjohn-branch&action=click&contentCollection=undefined&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=9&pgtype=collection

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

5 Comments

5 Responses to “Taking a Knee: Disrespectful or Definitively Free Speech?”

  1. Eve Sherwood on November 28th, 2017 11:00 am

    I think the idea behind the kneeling has good intentions, but I do not necessarily believe that it is shown in an effective or respectful way. Police brutality is obviously a huge issue that should be addressed, but I do not think refusing to pay respects to armed services is the way to do it. However, obviously it is someone’s right to be able to kneel in order to express an idea or prove a point and nobody’s personal opinion should be able to stop that.

    [Reply]

  2. Emil Mah on November 28th, 2017 3:18 pm

    I disagree on the point that there is no correlation between the flag and police brutality. If the flag represents America, it must represent both the good and the bad parts of the country. Police brutality is a very real part of America at this time, and so it is represented in the flag. I understand why people view kneeling as disrespectful, but I also understand why people kneel. Because it causes so much controversy, it helps bring the issue of police brutality into the spotlight.

    [Reply]

  3. Carter Dernier on December 6th, 2017 3:36 pm

    Great article. I think that the main issue here is the right to kneel during the national anthem. No one is arguing that their motive is wrong. The NFL is losing money because of this issue and that is because people don’t appreciate the disrespect that kneeling during the anthem shows. Of course, everyone agrees that racism in the police force is wrong but, dragging the flag and peoples national pride into this issue is foolish. The best way to protest a social issue is to talk specifically about that issue. Don’t attack other people, don’t drag the flag into social issues because there’s bound to be a problem with it. Of course, it isn’t illegal to kneel during the anthem but it’s sure to upset a lot of people.

    [Reply]

  4. Alex Jacqmin on December 6th, 2017 7:14 pm

    I agree with when the author said both sides were right. Although, I am more on the side of the players, I definitely see both sides. One thing I hate though is when people say something like “People in our military are dying overseas and they can’t stand for them for one minute”. They aren’t not standing for the military. Its not like they are protesting the military so why does the military have to be brought into it. I know the anthem and flag can be tied to our military but thats not all it means it represents our country as a whole, and the military is just a small aspect of that. But then again, now that they have gotten everybody’s attention, I do think the protesting could be done in a more respectful way.

    [Reply]

  5. maggie boyd on December 9th, 2017 10:27 pm

    I really do not agree with the kneeling for the national anthem because i think it is really disrespectful to our armed forces. they are out there putting their lives on the line for us to have easy lives and these people can’t even stand up for 2 minutes to show respect for them? they have so much priveledge being in the nfl and getting so much money a year while people in the armed forces are making so much sacrifices for them every year and are making no money. i understand why they are protesting, yet i feel like there are so many other opportunities to speak their mind that aren’t so controversial.

    [Reply]

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Taking a Knee: Disrespectful or Definitively Free Speech?

    Opinion

    The End of Net Neutrality: Using the Telecom Industry’s Past to Make Sense of What Is Going On Now

  • Taking a Knee: Disrespectful or Definitively Free Speech?

    Opinion

    Should Community Service Be Required?

  • Taking a Knee: Disrespectful or Definitively Free Speech?

    Opinion

    Why is Thanksgiving Overlooked?

  • Taking a Knee: Disrespectful or Definitively Free Speech?

    Music

    The Killers’ “Wonderful Wonderful” Album Review

  • Taking a Knee: Disrespectful or Definitively Free Speech?

    Arts and Entertainment

    Blade Runner 2049 Review

  • Taking a Knee: Disrespectful or Definitively Free Speech?

    Opinion

    “Columbus Day”: A Misnomer

  • Taking a Knee: Disrespectful or Definitively Free Speech?

    Opinion

    Rationale Behind Dress Codes: Madison High School’s Take On a Longstanding Controversy

  • Taking a Knee: Disrespectful or Definitively Free Speech?

    Arts and Entertainment

    Stranger Things, possibly the best show on Netflix yet?

  • Taking a Knee: Disrespectful or Definitively Free Speech?

    News

    iPhone X: The Next Step in Mobile Evolution

  • Taking a Knee: Disrespectful or Definitively Free Speech?

    Opinion

    Junior Year… it isn’t that bad

Taking a Knee: Disrespectful or Definitively Free Speech?