Post Classifieds

Kneeling For a Greater Cause

By Terrance Polk
On September 22, 2016

Photo by: Chris Carlson / Associated Press

"The Star-Spangled Banner" was originally a poem written by Francis Scott Key on Sept. 14, 1814. It later became recognized as the country's national anthem on March 3, 1931. The purpose of the anthem is to illustrate the values, traditions and beliefs of one’s country.

With that being said, it is important to recognize that at the time the anthem was written, African Americans were still enslaved. By the 1930s when the song was recognized as the national anthem, African Americans were faced with discrimination and the lack of jobs due to the Great Depression.

Although the treatment of blacks in America improved since the 1800s and 1900s, many blacks still experience unfair treatment from important institutions in society -- like the police department and the judicial system. Lately, blacks in America and everyone else around the world have watched these institutions fail that very people in this country.

For example, in 2009, Oscar Grant was fatally shot while lying face down and handcuffed. In the situation both the judicial system and police failed Grant and his family. Rather than protecting and serving him, the police harmed and took the life of an innocent African American male.

Likewise, the judicial system failed to enforce the proper disciplinary action, which in return, sent a message to blacks in America that their lives did not matter. There are several other instances of the mistreatment of black individuals and how, in this society, black lives in fact don’t matter.

This brings us to the argument of whether or not Colin Kaepernick, backup quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, should be scolded for not standing during the national anthem.

“I am 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,” Kaepernick says.

His comments made people around the world have mixed emotions about the situation and the call for action. A musician by the name of Kid Rock states “Man, f**k Colin Kaepernick” in the middle of singing a song called “Born Free” at Boston's Fenway Park.

On the other hand, social media also goes viral on the matter:

“Totally agree with you, but there is a time and place,” says actor Rob Lowe via Twitter.

Many people inside and outside the sport of football have opinions on Kaepernick’s actions, but who is to say that he is actually wrong? There is not a rule in the NFL that proclaims it is mandatory for a person or player to stand during the anthem. Furthermore, Kaepernick has the right to protest during this activity in accordance to the liberties granted to each American citizen.

Kaepernick is not doing anything wrong but simply exercising his rights. Just how everyone has the freedom of speech to say what they think about Kaepernick and his actions, so does Kaepernick when it comes to standing during the national anthem.

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