Student responds to protesting controversy

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By ELY SANCHEZ, Columnist ¦

Everyone, I’m new to the game. New to this whole “giving a damn about history” thing. But now’s the time and I’m ready to speak up. My goal is to open a dialogue — the very same reason many of these NFL players are currently sacrificing everything in order to bring to light a true injustice happening across the nation.

Why now though? Great question. This is not a movement Colin Kaepernick devised on his own. Even beginning with his initial protest, he got permission from an Army Ranger who wrote an open letter to him suggesting that he take a knee. Kaepernick, as well as other players taking a knee, are some of many players in sports who just so happened to use a template set by previous movements. Even during WWII, four-time gold medalist and international badass Jesse Owens, who willingly ran for the United States in track, would eventually return home from the 1936 Olympics with no guarantees of his future prosperity. Owens would face opponents who continuously reminded him that even his own country was practicing a similar form of segregation, and that he should protest against it by not running at all. Our U.S Olympic Gold medalist would come home and eventually find work taking on menial jobs just for speaking out against injustice.

Some players care to take a stand, while others are too busy scoring touchdowns and parading around the end zone selling whatever product they can. But should the player live in a constant state of fear of simply offending the personal consumer? It’s as if many of these players now side more with their corporate sponsors than with the community that is purchasing many of their products. Yet, with even NFL Executive Vice President Jocelyn Moore stating that the issues raised by Kaepernick “deserve our attention and action,” many people still deem this movement an act of defiance. Kaepernick’s grievance against the NFL accuses many owners of conspiring against him in order to keep him out of the league because of the player protests during the national anthem that he started. I guess we all have to wait to see what will happen now that an arbitrator has allowed the case to proceed to trial, and denied the NFL’s request to throw the case out.

In the meantime, put on your Nike gear and stand up for what you believe in. Let’s support the activist athletes who use their sport to take a stand.

5 Comments

  1. I totally agree with Mr. Sanchez about this article. People take your head out and just think about what has been researched and said to us. Use your judgment on this, not you Dads, or your friend. The rich or getting richer, not poorer. It’s not us it is the NFL owners!!!

  2. While I realize that this is a topic that deeply divides many people in the country, the point of view expressed in the article is one that I appreciate the author for having the courage to put forward.
    In my opinion, the intent of Colin Kaepernick’s form of protest has never been to disrespect the country or those who have given their lives to protect us and our freedoms, nor to disrespect the flag or the national anthem. Kneeling to me actually seems quite a respectful pose to adopt, and although I can empathize to some extent with the gut reactions of many to anything other than standing up for the singing of the Anthem, one must admit that if the intention was to convey contempt or rude defiance, there are many worse ways to express those sentiments than kneeling, which in itself is quite a prayerful, humble act.
    Once people can appreciate this point of view, and get past the knee-jerk reaction of anger towards this form of protest, we can start to think about the real motivation behind it – it’s not meant as an insult to our land or to the patriots who protect it, but as a challenge to the rest of us to fulfill the patriotic promise of making our country one where ALL Americans treat each other as equals, with equal opportunities for all.
    Some would say that this idealized America does in fact exist, and has existed for the last 50 years, and that this is a non-issue. Sadly this appears not to be true, and many unbiased studies have concluded as much.
    While this great country is admired by the entire world for a multitude of reasons, and rightly so, none of us should be OK with the notion that some of our fellow countrymen and women are treated differently than we are, for no fault of their own. THAT would be the real insult to the ideals that the flag represents.

  3. This peaceful protest, which serves no disrespect to anyone or anything, has caused the divide in our country to be highlighted on a national platform. How can any US citizen claim to be “free” if we complain and condemn those who choose to exercise their inherent rights gave to us by a song that was created for the land of the free made by the home of the brave. This is not about the US military, but instead race. It’s hard for white people to sympathize to the cause because the issues do not, and will not ever personally effect them. We cannot walk a mile in anyone’s shoes, but we can educate ourselves with facts. We can arm ourselves with an open mind and choose to not be tempted by the overwhelming majority of people, especially in the Bible belt, and try see what we can do to bring this county together. The real disrespect of the national anthem is when it’s used, to drive as dagger to further separate a country, to push political agendas, and to create hate. We have already shortend the national anthem to one stanza. Why? For convenience? Too long and boring go stand their so long? Sadly most people will not educate themselves on the subject and let their hate consume them.

  4. Colin Kaepernick is a loser with a big ego. He doesn’t know what true sacrifice means. If he really wanted to make a change he doesn’t have to do it in front of the cameras. He could do it behind the public eye, but we all know he won’t. The younger generation is blinded from his public publicity stunt. Whoever supports this coward needs to take a second and realize how great America really is. If we don’t educate the younger generation, then they will eventually turn this country into a communist nation.

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