Head to Head: Kneeling during the National Anthem is protected protest


NFL player kneels during a football game. Kneeling has taken a new meaning since the recent controversy.

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Since the creation of the Constitution, we have had national turmoil over what is and isn’t included in the First Amendment. This conflict has never been more present than it is today. Many people protest and fight over who is right and who is wrong, but a concrete solution is almost never made. One of the biggest examples of this problem today is whether we should be allowed to kneel during the National Anthem or not.

This movement was started by NFL player Colin Kaepernick in early fall of 2016. He was trying to protest police brutality and social injustice, but the media lashed at him for being “unpatriotic and disrespectful.” He was trying to show he cares for the country, and he chose to kneel rather than sit or stand because he feels kneeling is a respectful gesture for his protest.

“I think we should be able to kneel because [the Constitution] doesn’t say we have to stand up anywhere.” freshman Brandon Miller said.

Many athletes have been moved by Kaepernick’s kneeling, and have followed in his footsteps. There are people who fully agree with these players, and are choosing to take similar action. There are also people who feel this is disrespectful, and believe they should not be allowed to commit such a crime against the American flag. On the other hand, it’s not a crime, and there is no law against it. If we force the players to stop kneeling, penalize them, or criticize them for doing so, are we taking away their freedom of speech?

Freedom of speech is one of the most important parts of the United States, and if we are going to lash out at people who are exercising this right to make a change then we should call ourselves hypocrites. As humans, we will always feel the need to change something that is wrong, and will go to any means to help turn it around.

Kneeling during the National Anthem is not meant to be disrespectful to the American flag; it is only meant to spread the message that social injustice is not right and America has to do something about it at a national level.