Kaepernick’s actions criticized

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Kaepernick’s actions criticized

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Jimmy Patton, Sport's Editor

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As most Americans probably know already, football fans or not, Colin Kaepernick, the backup quarterback to Blaine Gabbert, started some controversy recently by sitting during the national anthem. Widespread criticism has taken root across the country. Many have burned Kaepernick’s jersey, however, just as many have purchased Kaepernick’s jersey after his actions. His jersey sales skyrocketed to third in the NFL. Kaepernick’s sitting during the anthem has inspired many other players in the National Football League. Some of these players include cornerback Jeremy Lane of the Seattle Seahawks, as well as former Nevada University teammate of Kaepernick’s, linebacker for the Denver Broncos, Brandon Marshall. Marshall was the only player on a knee during the National Anthem in the National Football League’s opening game between the Panthers and Broncos. The Broncos publicly made a statement about their linebacker’s actions, “While we encourage members of our organization to stand during the National Anthem, we understand and respect it being a personal decision.”
Most recently, four members of the Miami Dolphins, Kenny Stills, Jelani Jenkins, Michael Thomas, and star running back Arian Foster, took a knee during the National Anthem on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. This action, on one of the worst days of American history, has caused more scrutiny for players who choose not to stand for the anthem. On that Sunday night, Foster tweeted, “Don’t put your hatred in our hearts. I love this country. Don’t let the love for a symbol overrule your love for your fellow human.”
It is clear that the Colin Kaepernick’s actions have started a movement in the NFL. Kaepernick publicly stated that he has received many death threats over his protests, “If I’m killed, you’ve proved my point…I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color” (nflmedia.com). Kaepernick’s point is that racial relations are terrible and need to improve between African American men and police officers. He stated in an interview with nflmedia.com, “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
The idea of not kneeling for the anthem has spread beyond the NFL, influencing other sports organizations. Star US soccer player, Megan Rapinoe has started to take a knee both in US and International play where she has the flag on her uniform and has represented this country on more than one occasion, including in the Olympics.
West Milford Girl’s Basketball team assistant coach Ms. McCourt said about the topic, “There is no correlation between black lives matter and the flag. Kaepernick is going at it the wrong way. It’s disrespectful to the people who fought for this country.”
Clearly people have been impacted by Kaepernick’s stance, but officials will still keep Kaepernick on the team regardless of his personal opinions, saying they will make “football decisions”, not personal ones (nflmedia.com).

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