Kaepernick protest sparks controversy

NFL quarterback sits during national anthem as protest

by Kyle Gehman, Editor-In-Chief

NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been making the news lately, but not because of his football skills. In protest of the ‘oppression of black people and people of color’, he has refused to stand up during the playing of the national anthem.

“I think it’s stupid to disrespect the country that he is from and lives in,” junior Jake Egelsee said. “It’s basically saying he doesn’t care about the country at all. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in the country, you still shouldn’t disrespect it like that.”

On Friday, August 26 during their preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, Kaepernick refused to stand when the National Anthem was played. His actions have received criticism from many people including football fans to fellow players. However, he has also gained support from veterans for his actions.

“I don’t agree with all of his points,” @I_Zac33, a veteran, said on Twitter. “But I’ll fight to the death for his right to say it.”
One of the points that people opposing Kaepernick’s protest have argued is that while it is his right to not stand for it, as a professional athlete who is being viewed by thousands of Americans, he needs to set a good example. The same goes here at school. While students aren’t forced to stand for or say the Pledge of Allegiance, it is expected as a sign of respect to stand.

I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

— Colin Kaepernick

“I just feel like the pledge is my small way to say thank you to my country,” junior Emma Aldred said. “I’m proud to be American and while we have our problems, I’m thankful I have the rights and opportunities many people don’t. Criticizing our country makes it better but I think taking a 30 second pause and say thank you is still important.”

Kaepernick has stated that he will stand again during the national anthem once the flag represent what he think it should. Until then he says he will keep pushing for change.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick said on NFL Media. “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.”