Take a knee. That’s a phrase that a lot of the citizens of the United States of America, especially football fans, have been hearing. But what does it mean? And what are the views of it at our very own Logan High School?
Colin Kaepernick was seen sitting down during the National Anthem all the way back in 2016. At that time, he was the only one protesting in such a way. During a post-game interview, he explained why he wasn’t standing for the anthem. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Kapernick also said he would continue the protest until the flag represents what it’s supposed to represent. On September 1, 2016, Kaepernick chose to kneel rather than sit for the anthem. Kaepernick thought that kneeling was a better way to protest while still providing respect to former and current U.S. military members.
Kaepernick’s protesting was not widely accepted. He was voted the most disliked player in the NFL. According to the poll, 37% of Caucasians disliked him a lot, and 42% of African-Americans liked him a lot. Across the country, people were burning his jerseys and even sending him death threats. It wasn’t really until this year that more and more football players began kneeling for the anthem. Perhaps the biggest hater of this movement of kneeling in protest was President Trump himself. President Trump sent out a myriad of tweets advocating that NFL players should be either fired or suspended for kneeling during the national anthem. This didn’t do much except encourage football players to protest even more, and they would either continue kneeling, stand and link arms, or just stay in the locker room during the playing of the anthem.
Taking a knee has been seen as an extremely controversial thing across the entirety of the United States, but what about our high school? How is it viewed here? Landon Corbett, a now former football player at our school, seemed to not really care what people did. “I think people are making a bigger deal out of it than it needs to be,” He said, “If people want to protest and take a knee then they have the right to do it and I don’t think they should be punished for doing so.” So far, nothing has happened at our school in which people have been punished for kneeling during the anthem. But then again, not a lot of people have been. Besides a few students at pep assemblies, there hasn’t been a lot of kneeling during the anthem. Why is that? Is it because the students fear what could happen to them if they did kneel? According to Logan High’s very own football coach Jayson Anderson, a football player at our school would not get punished for kneeling in protest. Coach Anderson believes that all students have a right to express their beliefs, but he does think that standing is a form of showing respect to those who have died for our country.
The big question is, will there ever be a time where high school students kneel during the anthem? We are a generation of recognizing the need for change. This generation sees the struggles of minorities in this country, but not everyone is comfortable protesting it, and that’s not a bad thing. Students fear how they’ll get treated by other students in this school if they choose to protest, and that is a rational fear. Students fear that they are disrespecting those who have died for this country by kneeling, but as Colin Kaepernick has said, he kneels to protest the flag while still respecting those who have fought and died for this country. All students should have the freedom to stand- or in this case kneel- for what they believe in.
News Editor: Elizabeth Needham, Emanuel Abebe
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