The NFL Protest Argument

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During the pre-season of the 2016 National Football League season, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat for the National Anthem to protest racial injustice within the United States. When asked why he sat, he stated, “I’ve been very clear from the beginning that I’m against the systematic oppression” of black Americans (Willingham). The quarterback received some negative reaction to his method of protest and, after three games, met with former NFL player and Army veteran Nate Boyer to discuss his protest. During this meeting, Kaepernick agreed with Boyer and decided kneeling during the anthem was a more respectful form of protest (Willingham). Since that time, many NFL players joined Kaepernick in his protest and continue to kneel during the playing of the anthem. Through this silent, non-violent protest, many uncomfortable questions are now at the forefront of American cultural discussion. To date, Kaepernick alone has paid a price for the protest actions as currently he is not playing in the NFL since no team would dare sign such a controversial player. In addition, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, recently jumped into the debate during a speech calling any player who kneels a “son of a bitch” and stating they should lose their jobs (Jenkins). The President also inferred the protests are disrespectful to the American flag and to the members of the United States’ military. This background on the NFL protests raises several questions
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