Kneeling: unpatriotic, or freedom of speech?

NFL fans will remember Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017 as the day the NFL changed.
Posted Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 12:57pm

Although week three

in the NFL was filled with

great games, that went down

to the wire, the bigger story

happened before the games

even started. It started with

President Donald Trump

using his favorite way to

communicate, Twitter, to

call NFL players that kneel

before the anthem “SOBs,”

and saying that they should

be fired.

First of all, doing that would be moving us towards

fascism and is downright against the first amendment.

The president tweeting these things united the NFL

players and had them launching all sorts of protests.

From the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tennessee Titans and

Seattle Seahawks not coming out for the anthem, because

they see this country as too divided right now,

to the Denver Broncos who’s entire team basically

kneeled or raised the black power fist and to LeSean

McCoy calling out the president and to pretty much

every team having some type of protest, team owners

included. Sept. 24, 2017 will be a day NFL fans never

forget. Now, let’s get down to it.

I’m not going to engage in what the president did in

this article. I’m not going to engaged on the absurdity

of what he said to these players. I’m not going to talk

about how, the day after his inauguration, tweeted his

support of peaceful protests, which these players are

doing, are as peaceful as it gets.

What I’m talking about is

what these players are actually

protesting. I keep hearing that

they are protesting the anthem and

that couldn’t be more wrong. The

players have been more than clear

that they are using the anthem to

protest the inequalities and racial

injustices happening throughout

our country.

They’re trying to make America a better country.

That’s what Trump has been saying, right? Make

America Great Again? Never once has any of these

players said that they are anti America, anti the anthem

or anti military. In fact, when Colin Kaepernick

started this over a year ago one of his reasons was that

military veterans don’t get treated well enough after

they come back from defending our country.

Now, let’s get down to. Let’s go over something

that is considered disrespectful when regarding the

flag via the U.S. Flag Code. Wearing any type of flag

clothes, labeled as disrespect. Not standing, isn’t.

Laying the flag horizontally, labeled as disrespect.

Not standing for the anthem, is not. Yet somehow the

entire discussion has been changed to these players

disrespecting America, the flag and the country, when

they simply aren’t.

They are using their platform as athletes to bring

awareness to issues that have plagued America forever.

Please read their messages and what they are saying.

Please understand why they are protesting before you

saying things like, “kick them out of the country.” It’s

important to understand the message.

NFL fans will remember Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017

as the day the NFL changed. The day player activism

started. The NBA has always had their bigger stars

speaking out about issues. Whether that’s LeBron

James having words about the president, Kevin Durant

saying he’s against what the president stands for

or Stephen Curry saying that he wouldn’t go to the

White House, if invited.

These are the biggest names in the world, not just

sports and they have been speaking out for a while

now. NFL joined them on Sunday. Before the season

started Malcom Jenkins was wondering why more

NFL players were not speaking up. He will no longer

have to wonder that. The players have a voice in the

NFL for the first time ever. I don’t see it ever going

away either.

My purpose, in writing this article, wasn’t to

convince you that you should kneel or stand. My

purpose was to make sure everyone understands the

messages athletes are putting out there. Listening to

their message might change your opinion entirely, it

might not. But it’s important to hear it; Sunday was

significant. For the first time in league history, players

weren’t expected to stay quiet. They were told they

could speak out, and guess what? NFL ratings were

the highest they’ve been, since 2008, that week. If you

come at the NFL, you best not miss.

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