Take a knee
Deven Blight, Reporter
This past Sunday, eight players on the Detroit Lions kneeled and locked arms during the playing of the national anthem in protest of President Donald Trump’s comments on other NFL players who kneeled during the protests. Martha Ford, the owner of the team and the coach Jim Caldwell locked arms with the players during the anthem as well.
“Great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country. Standing with locked arms arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!” Trump tweeted regarding the incident.
Kneeling during the national anthem as a protest first got popular with NFL players last year, when former San Francisco 49’ers player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during a couple pre-season games. Kaepernick originally started his protest by sitting down during the national anthem, but after talking to ex-Green Beret and NFL player Nate Boyer he decided to start taking a knee instead.
“I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country. I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. That’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they fought have for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right.” Kaepernick said.
Although the protest’s focus is on police brutality, some people think that the act of kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful to veterans. Some of the people who disagree think that protesting the national anthem and police brutality are misguided.
“Clearly people have a right to express themselves, that is the First Amendment. What I don't think people seem to get is, when you do it on the flag or the anthem it looks like you're protesting against the ideals of America, the patriotism, the people who have put their life on the line for the country." Speaker of the house Paul Ryan said.
Since Kaepernick started the protests last year, many other teams have started to do the same. Many players and coaches are expressing their support for the protests, either by doing the same as Kaepernick did and taking a knee or by making public statements in support of the players who are doing so.
“It was like, 'Hey, you were sitting down for the National Anthem.' Of course I was, of course I'm in complete solidarity with the entire movement. But as I'm sitting my hand is on my heart, as I'm sitting my eyes are searching for the flag, as I'm sitting I'm singing as I have done every time for as long as I remember. At the end of the National Anthem I'm still kissing the flag ... that being said, it all starts with wanting to bring to light everything we have to go through.” New Orleans Saints player Cameron Jordan said.