Anthem kneeling has been a concern for a few years now. There have been diverse opinions on both sides of the aisle regarding this particular issue. However, conservatives have staunchly stood in opposition to any kneeling calling it unpatriotic and disrespectful to the military, flag, and anthem. But, athletes have doubled down and continue to partake in these protests. One of them is Marshawn Lynch. His latest actions indicate he does not care what people think and he will continue to anthem kneel regardless.
The Western Journal reported,
“Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch made sure to let the nation know loud and clear that he would not be standing for the national anthem. One would assume with a new head coach in place — Jon Gruden — there might be new team rules or standards. But Lynch once again sat for the anthem before Oakland’s exhibition opener against the Detroit Lions on Friday night. The move came the evening after President Donald Trump criticized players on Twitter who refused to stand for the national anthem. The president said that “most of them are unable to define” what they’re demonstrating against. In a second tweet, he said players who do not stand for the anthem should be suspended without pay.
Lynch sat for the anthem all of last season but never gave a reason for his decision. No other players on either team demonstrated during the anthem, with the Lions all standing together with locked arms. The league and the NFL Players Association have yet to announce a policy for this season regarding demonstrations during the anthem. The NFL announced a policy in the spring requiring players to either stand for the anthem or remain in the locker room, but the league and the players union agreed in July to put that rule on hold. Several players throughout the league demonstrated on Thursday night, including three players from the Miami Dolphins. Kenny Stills and fellow wide receiver Albert Wilson took a knee during the anthem while defensive end Robert Quinn stood with his fist raised. Stills called Wilson an “angel” for kneeling with him so he wasn’t the only one protesting. Colin Kaepernick tweeted a photo of himself with Stills, praising him and Wilson for protesting. “Stay strong brothers!” he wrote.”
The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the National Anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
…..Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest. Most of that money goes to the players anyway. Find another way to protest. Stand proudly for your National Anthem or be Suspended Without Pay!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2018
Anthem kneeling began in 2016 when some professional athletes began protesting what they alleged as systematic oppression and social injustice against the African American community in the United States. Instances of these they allege were increased police brutality and racial inequality. Those who have kneeled have gotten mixed reactions, many have denounced them and called them unpatriotic and disrespectful to the flag, police, and military, like the president, while others have said that it is a patriotic form of political expression.
It all began when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the national anthem during a National Football League game. He did it as well during the preseason games of the 2016 football season. Since then other National Football League players have engaged in similar behavior. In 2017, there were over 200 players that had sat or kneeled for the anthem and President Trump was one of their biggest detractors. He publically called for owners to fire players to stay or kneeled for the anthem and indicated his belief that it was not the place for such a policy
In May of this past year, the commissioner of the National Football Leagues passed a new policy guideline that made it mandatory for all players to stand for the national anthem. If they do not want to, then they have the option of staying in the locker room until the performance begins. Something that many feel allowed the disrespect of the flag, military, and anthem to continue.
Political figures have given their input on the issue adding a level of negative discourse to the societal dialogue. President Obama argued that Kaepernick was exercising his constitutional right, Supreme Court Justice Ruther Bader Ginsburg criticized Kaepernick’s actions and the movement as dumb and disrespectful, while U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson lee physically went to the House floor and knelt on the floor. One of her colleagues U.S. Representative Mark Pocan did the same thing the next day. Vice President Mike Pence had one of the best responses of all. Pence left an Indianapolis Colt’s NFL game after members of the San Francisco 49ers knelt during the anthem.
Conservatives have made their points clear on the issue. Anthem kneeling will not be tolerated and they are not afraid to voice their opinion. The Trump administration has made their position even more abundantly clear. They are on the right side of history and if everyone else wants to be as well they will defend the flag, the military, and the anthem that our veterans fought so hard for us to have, utilize, and benefit from in peace.
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