The Poly Spotlight

November 14th, 2017
Do You Hear Them Bark?


PURPOSIVE: NFL players’ premeditated kneeling during the National Anthem draws more attention to low ratings than their cause.

By Alex Flores, Staff Writer

Players of the National Football League (NFL) have caught some serious attention lately, especially from President Donald Trump. The San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, and New York Giants are among the handful of teams that either knelt, stood with linked arms, or did a combination of both during the National Anthem. Many believe the players had a right to do this, which they do: it’s called the First Amendment of the Constitution. Others argue the players had no right and are disrespectful to our country. Can you guess which side Trump is on?

Not all the players of the teams involved in the budding movement participated but the majority did. They claim to have done so in protest of the constant oppression of people of color, police brutality, and the criminal “justice” system. According to them and their supporters, this country provides the liberty of freedom of expression, so these acts are in no way a sign of disrespect. They are meant to bring attention to the ever present injustices being exerted in America; it is a way to encourage people to look these injustices in their ugly face and work to bring about beauty.

Those who do not support the players could care less about all that sissy talk. They believe if the players really wanted to bring about beauty in America then they would start by respecting her. Kneeling instead of standing seems to be all that is focused on. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say ‘Get that son of a (explicit) off the field right now, out, he’s fired,” Trump said. If you guessed that he was on the side against the players then *ding ding ding,* you were right. So apparently freedom of expression is a fireable offense? Indeed it is when it interferes with the business, it is said. The kneeling of the players has brought the ratings of the business down to its knees as well. This is not by any means a good thing, but is it worse than police brutality? Some have not even really thought about why the players are kneeling. They’re not taking a break from lunges, people.

“I’m a big supporter of the First Amendment; everyone has the right to express themselves freely. That doesn’t mean they should. Hate speech is acceptable. That doesn’t mean it should be spoken. But we’re able to do it because that is America,” Mr. Mckinnie, Poly U.S History teacher said. Yes, the players have the right to kneel during the National Anthem, but should they? They are standing up for what they believe in, or rather kneeling for what they believe in, but is it doing any good? And more importantly, should they continue to protest?

Whatever the answer may be, one should think of history. The Women’s Rights Movement, the Indian Independence Movement, and the Civil Rights Movement all had no desired effect at first, or even for a while. Each one fought against some manifestation of oppression, but it was to no avail for quite some time. People would not recognize the problem being confronted by the protesters or even perceive it as a problem. To them, the problem was that these protesters existed and were flaunting said existence by marching in the streets, preaching about who-knows-what and “disturbing the peace.” Should these protesters have given up because of that? No, not at all. They knew this too, continued to protest until they achieved their goal, and in doing so introduced new beauty to the world. Does this apply to the NFL players and their supporters? Maybe. 

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