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A Raised Fist and More Kneeling Players….National Anthem Protests Spread

Leslie Kain

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is no longer alone while he kneels for our national anthem during NFL football games.

Many have joined him in the protests, from high school football players, to college football players, to athletes in other professional sports. They’ve even taken different forms, from simply kneeling, to standing while raising a fist in the air.

People all over the country are vocalizing their opinions on the matter, but the opposing viewpoints are primarily split in half. Some feel that it’s incredibly disrespectful to our flag and our country to sit or kneel while the national anthem is playing, despite the circumstances one is being put through. Others think it’s a perfectly respectable way to peacefully protest any injustice an individual feels is occurring in our nation.

When President Barack Obama was asked his take on this controversy in late September, he stated

 “My hope would be that as the debate surfaces, we’re always reminding ourselves that in a democracy like ours, there are gonna be a lot of folks who do stuff that we just don’t agree with. But as long as they’re doing it within the law, then we can voice our opinion objecting to it, but it’s also their right.”

Many other public figures have taken a stance on the subject, such as Kate Upton and Mike Ditka, who oppose Kaepernick’s protests, and Susan Sarandon and Common, who are standing with him.

Even Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice of the United States, said her piece on the protests.

“I think it’s really dumb of them. Would I arrest them for doing it? No. I think it’s dumb and disrespectful. I would have the same answer if you asked me about flag burning. I think it’s a terrible thing to do, but I wouldn’t lock a person up for doing it. I would point out how ridiculous it seems to me to do such an act.”

Kaepernick, a University of Nevada, Reno alumnus, began protesting at the the first two preseason games in early August, but did not gain national attention for it until a picture was taken in late August showing him sitting while the anthem was playing.

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