HOOAH!: United?

Chad Graden
cgraden@css.edu

    The two biggest topics in the news lately seems to be centered on President Trump and the NFL players taking a knee during our National Anthem. We are all used to political conversation and debate when it concerns our President, no matter who is in office. However, we aren’t as used to watching professionally paid athletes taking a knee for our country’s song.
 
   This form of protest started last season when the then quarterback of the 49ers, Colin Kaepernick, chose to kneel to display his disgust with law enforcement seeming to have an open season on African Americans. Although Kaepernick has been essentially shunned throughout the league, many players from across the NFL have unified in doing the same thing.

    Fans around the country are upset. They are burning their jerseys and vowing to never watch or support the NFL ever again. President Trump, being the vocal guy he is, has even publicly vouched for the firing of these players. What was supposed to be a showing for social change, has now turned into a patriotic debate.

    Although I personally believe this type of protest is in bad taste, I do understand it and can accept it. The entire purpose of a peaceful protest is to get people talking. That is exactly what this did. Every person in the country has their own opinion on this matter. I believe the problem with this is that people are taking it in the wrong direction, or at least not in the way these players intended.

    People have died for this country since its existence. People have every right to take a knee during the national anthem. We are not the United States of North Korea. We have our freedom. People should have the right to protest for equality for all religions, colors, race, and genders. If you don’t like it, then don’t take part. If you like it, then support it.

    I personally love this country, and I still believe this is the best place to live on Earth. I will always and forever stand for the American flag and our anthem. However, I will always try to be fair and just to all American citizens. We do have some things to figure out, and some social change needs to be done. So instead of crying and fighting, take to your knee, or stand, whatever you believe. Let people be free. Just remember to support those who have died, and those who keep fighting for your freedom.