by Nick Shepard – Staff Reporter
Controversy has arisen in recent weeks over San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s protest aimed towards the meaning behind our flag. His protest began on Aug. 26th in a pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers. Explaining after the game, Kaepernick said that he was, “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
He’s gained many supporters and followers, one being, Megan Rapinoe of the Seattle Reign. Rapinoe kneeled during the national anthem in a Sept. 4th game against the Chicago Red Stars.
But for all the support Kaepernick’s getting, he’s also getting a lot of opposition. Gary Radnich, a radio host in the San Francisco area, tweeted, “Kaepernick not standing for National Anthem: I respect Freedom of choice but if he really wants to take a stand? Give back his NFL salary!!!” The majority of people, however, seem to feel that while he constitutionally has the right to protest, he isn’t necessarily going about it the right way.
When asked how they would respond to a school football player protesting the anthem, Coach Thompson said that he would be “disappointed”, but said he, “would respect their freedom of expression.” Football player Kristian Mcfarland said that “it would be his right not to stand, but I would think of him more poorly as a person.”
As the situation develops, people are beginning to choose sides, some NFL players joining Kaepernick in his protest, and others, like our Seattle Seahawks, are doing demonstrations of their own. On Sept. 11 in a game against the Miami Dolphins, they linked arms as a team during the National Anthem, to show their “team unity” and to “honor our country”.
As more of these protests take place, it is becoming apparent that the spotlight is moving away from Kaepernick and instead being focused on what it means to truly be free.