Should Athletes Kneel During Anthem Essay Example

  • Category: Athletes, Sports,
  • Words: 838 Pages: 4
  • Published: 23 June 2021
  • Copied: 194

Have you ever thought that the players that kneel during the National Anthem are disrespectful to the nation? Have you ever looked at the situation in their perspective? In 2016, San Francisco 49’ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled for the first time during the National Anthem in NFL history. He knelt to get everyone's attention to focus on police brutality and racial inequalities. Even though people believe that kneeling during the National Anthem is disrespectful, players still have the right to kneel. Kneeling helps show a sign of reverence, reminds us of the first amendment, and helps bring up an important issue.

One reason why kneeling is ok is that it shows a sign of reverence. Many people believe that players who kneel are disrespectful. Actually, kneeling shows that players are protesting in a peaceful manner and that they are protesting without any intentional harm. In an article, it states “ At first glance, research into emotion and nonverbal communication suggests that there is nothing threatening about kneeling. Instead, kneeling is almost always deployed as a sign of deference and respect.” (“The Psychology of Taking a Knee."). This goes to show that studies have indicated that kneeling is almost always a sign of respect. In addition, we kneel to propose and we kneel to beg. These are examples of why kneeling isn’t a sign of harm. In an article, it states “In some situations, kneeling can be seen as a request for protection—which is completely appropriate in Kaepernick’s case, given the motive of his protest. (The Psychology of Taking a Knee."). This proves my point that kneeling is a sign of respect because Kaepernick wants to protect minorities without having to do it in a harmful way. This helps the fact that players should be allowed to kneel.

Secondly, kneeling reminds us of the first amendment. The first amendment explains that everyone who is in America has freedom of speech. This also means that players are allowed to express their opinions freely. In an article, it states “In fact, a confluence of bedrock laws are on the players’ side. Stifling the protests would be illegal.”(The Law Is on the N.F.L. Players’ Side)

This piece of evidence shows that if these owners, coaches, etc force the players to stand for the National Anthem and not kneel, it would be illegal. It would be illegal because the players have freedom of speech yet they’re being forced to believe in something that they don't. In another article, it states “The answer to that question is found in the First Amendment itself, which provides that "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” (Employee Rights and Free Speech) This explains that everyone has the freedom of speech and that Congress can not make a law against it. Players have the right to kneel and they shouldn't have to put their career in jeopardy just because of what they believe in. This proves my point that players should be allowed to kneel.

On the other hand, people believe kneeling is disrespecting the police. The people believe that the police have saved many lives so they think that it is cruel for the players not to respect them. However, the players kneeling helps bring up an important issue. The reason for kneeling is that they are protesting against police brutality. There have been way too many crimes where police officers killed minorities who were unarmed and non-threatening. In an article, it states “In 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. The next morning, Gibson, who is black, got into a heated conversation about racial equality with his catcher, Tim McCarver, who is white.” (PRO/CON: O'er the Ramparts We Watched As Athletes Were Kneeling.)

This explains that people have been attacking (and killing) unarmed minorities for no reason. As you can see, there have been a lot more reports of a minority getting killed who was unarmed then a white man unarmed. In another article, it states “Some fans are obsessing about whether players should take a knee, raise a fist or lock arms during the national anthem before games. However, Sherman said they should be talking about the reasons why players are protesting. It is because of the recent news stories of police officers killing unarmed African-American people.”(Football player says protests meant to bring awareness to police shootings). This shows that people are focusing more on the fact that players are kneeling rather than the reason for why there kneeling. As you can see, players kneel to protest, not to disrespect. This proves my point that players should be allowed to kneel. 

Overall, players should be allowed to kneel during the National Anthem. Players kneel because they have freedom of speech which shows a sign of reverence while bringing up an important issue. If people didn’t mind the protest during the National Anthem, players kneeling wouldn’t be seen as a sign of disrespect. If players continued to kneel, racial inequality would soon be resolved and both races would be seen equally. The next time a player kneels during the National Anthem, people should be respectful of their decision. People should respect players who kneel because they are kneeling for what they believe even though it put their future in jeopardy. This helps show that kneeling is more than a sign of disrespect as it is a sign of a peaceful protest.



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