Last year, the United States witnessed controversy in the form of Colin Kaepernick as he refused to stand for the National Anthem before NFL games. Originally, he sat and then, after speaking with a former Green Beret, he decided that taking a knee would be the best possible way to go ahead with his protest without disrespecting the military. Following the game of his original protest, Kaepernick claimed “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”, giving explanation for his protest. The protest was started as a way to fight back against racial discrimination within the United States.
Recently, the men of the Defiance College football team have began to kneel during the national anthem prior to kickoff. Junior Jalin Nealy gave me an inside look as to why the boys were participating in the kneeling. Nealy stated that, “the individuals who kneel are expressing their right to express how they feel. Some of the guys kneel for different reasons, whether it’s for their own experiences or for the social injustice in the country. It’s no disrespect to our veterans or anyone who has served in our military. We love and appreciate our vets. We just are tired of not being seen or heard. We want equality in this country and we deserve it. We won’t stand up for a country who doesn’t stand up for what we believe in”.
The protests have become common within the sport of football. This past month, Gyree Durante was kicked off of his college football team after he decided to kneel during the coin toss and playing of the national anthem. The backup quarterback played for a private division 3 liberal arts school in Reading, Pennsylvania, Albright College. The football players of Albright had decided, as a team, to kneel during the coin toss but stand during the playing of the national anthem. Durante had broken the team rule and in turn, chose to kneel during the anthem. In the breaking of the team rule, Durante was removed from the team. He was the sole player from the team to kneel.
No professional members participating in these protests have been removed from their teams. No members of the Defiance College football team have been removed either.
Written by Jordan Osborne