NFL protests go beyond the anthem

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NFL protests go beyond the anthem

Design by Grace Summers

Design by Grace Summers

Design by Grace Summers

Design by Grace Summers

Alexis Perno, Staff Writer

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This past week, sports have been filled with more than just touchdowns and tackles. With the current protests in the NFL, controversy has once again seeped its way into something seemingly untouchable.

However, whatever your view on the issue, it is important to acknowledge the true reasoning behind these protests.

When Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem for the first time, controversy immediately exploded across the league and beyond. Kaepernick must have known that when he knelt during that first peaceful protest the response would not be entirely positive, and yet he did so anyways, risking his career and more.

What drove him to use such a public platform to speak up? Not the anthem, not veterans, not the President.

Kaepernick knelt for a much larger issue that is continuously plaguing society: the treatment of people of color.

Although we like to believe that racism was a thing of the past, it is clear that it is still alive and well in our communities. Yes, maybe the chains of slavery have been reduced to ash, but racism is still present in systematic, subtle ways.

Racism is like a snake- it sneaks up from behind and is not always easy to spot. Yet, it is still there, and no matter how many excuses we make to deny it, it does not change the fact that the grass has been invaded.

Kaepernick acted within his rights to protest for something he believed in: anti-racism. The anthem, America and the President were not the target of his protest. Frankly, if you interpreted that as so, you are part of the problem.

Still, people grew angry, as is their right to do so: the First Amendment only protects an individual from the government, not from their audience.

Some argued that what Kaepernick and fellow NFL members are doing is unpatriotic, but dissent and protesting is what brought this country to life. The core values this nation was founded on arose from people standing up for what they believed in, and Kaepernick did just that.

When we protest aggressively we’re met with backlash. When we protest peacefully, we’re met with backlash. When we speak our minds freely, we’re met with backlash.

It’s becoming pretty clear that you just don’t want us to protest at all.

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