Taking a knee

Samantha Szewczyk

Since the preseason of football, Colin Kaepernick has been kneeling in protest of the National Anthem. This has led to much controversy among both NFL fans and Americans.

“I think Kaepernick is disgracing this country. Protest in another way, but do not disgrace this country. Honestly, the whole situation disgusts me,” Teresa Thomas (12) said.

While Thomas does not agree with why Kaepernick is kneeling, Ayanna Manyweather (11) believes that Kaepernick has the right to kneel during the National Anthem and it is his way of protesting. Additionally, she does not believe there is any fault in protesting the national anthem.

“Everyone has their way of showing how they feel about something, and [Kaepernick] did it through his actions during the national anthem,” Manyweather said.

Since Kaepernick originally kneeled during the National Anthem, other players in the NFL have followed suit. Thomas disagrees with this method of protest.

“If you are going to protest, protest in another way that isn’t offending or disgracing so many people. Our country is based off of freedom and equal opportunity, and there are those who risk their lives for us everyday, for the flag and our country,” Thomas said.

Manyweather believes that the involvement of other players in this protest is a unifying factor among them.

“It’s great that people are showing their interest of the same side and not letting one person isolate themselves. I’m glad that they’re working together to try and spread an idea that they believe in,” Manyweather said.

Due to more and more players in the NFL kneeling during the National Anthem, Thomas believes that the NFL should address it. Thomas says that if she sees a player kneeling, she turns off her TV.

“If we have soldiers holding the flag at every game, yet [NFL] players are kneeling next to them, why shouldn’t [the NFL address it]? They are disrespecting the country on national television next to those who risk their lives,” Thomas said.

Meanwhile, Manyweather believes that the NFL should not address kneeling during the national anthem. She also believes that how one conducts themselves during the National Anthem is not something the NFL should be able to control.

“Not everyone believes in what the National Anthem could stand for, or how it relates to what the United States is going through at the time. Whatever you do during the National Anthem is your [choice], however you want to express yourself when addressing the country,” Manyweather said.