In recent weeks, protests against racism and police violence have spread rapidly around the world. The way of solidarity expression has come, oddly enough, from sports – those who support the protesters take a knee. Thus, the NFL player’s gesture become a protest symbol.
Stubbornness or a Matter of Honor?
It all started in August 2016. Colin Kaepernick (who was playing for the San Francisco 49ers) defiantly remained on the sidelines while the national anthem played. “I do not pretend to be proud of the flag of a country where the blacks are infringed,” he said.
Nate Boyer, an ex-NFL player and retired military man who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, turned to Kaepernick. Boyer offered to stay on one knee, as veterans in the cemetery do as a sign of respect for comrades who died in the war. Colin agreed with him.
Is this a Lack of Respect?
Of course, Donald Trump could not ignore such a news story during the election campaign. “I think this is a lack of respect and appreciation for our country. Maybe they should look for another?” Trump said, hinting at Kaepernick. On the 22nd of September 2017, Trump could not stand it again. At a speech shared with his supporters in Alabama, he called for the dismissal of NFL players who kneel.
As the season progressed, it became clear that the athlete would leave the San Francisco 49ers. In the offseason, he could not find a club.
What Do Americans Think?
Survey results suggest that most people support Kaepernick`s protest. A new poll showed that 52% of Americans agree that NFL players have the right to kneel during the anthem. By the way, in 2016, only 28% shared his life philosophy. Nevertheless, Kaepernick is still not playing for any team.
Now more than ever, the attitude of a rebellious player, whose gesture became a protest symbol has been overestimated in the NFL. However, after three years without playing or practice, it will be extremely difficult for him to get back in shape.
What do you think about this gesture? Should football players kneel during the anthem? Share your opinion in the comments.
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