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Let the NFL Kneel

Kim Trabulsi, Staff Writer

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Media coverage and scrutiny have surrounded dozens of NFL players kneeling for the National Anthem these past couple of weeks. Our own President Donald Trump took to Twitter to let everyone know how he really feels about athletes’ demonstrations during the National Anthem.

“Courageous Patriots have fought and died for our great American Flag — we MUST honor and respect it! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” President Trump tweeted among a sea of other posts on September 24, 2017. “Sports fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL should change policy!” he said.

On campus, many outraged students have taken to social media vowing to boycott the NFL this season as a counter-protest.

 

It is almost amusing how First Amendment rights are only encouraged when it comes to pushing one’s favorable agenda. These players exercised their right to protest with a peaceful demonstration against the injustices and systematic oppression people of color face in America. To correlate this demonstration in any way with disrespecting our troops seems like too much of a stretch that was taken to silence these individuals with a far different message.

If Americans do not like something about this country, they have every right to come out and say it, so long it does not obstruct on the freedoms of others. If I wanted to live in a nation where patriotism is forced down our throats, I would head to North Korea right now. Hell, the whole basis of a democracy is having the liberty to make that decision.

Regardless, of what President Trump and supporters want to believe, the National Anthem represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of our country. A birth of a country that did not include people of color in the great Bill of Rights to begin with.

“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!” tweeted President Trump. I sure wish he had the same passion to have the Charlottesville protesters unemployed.

A lot of people have been questioning why multi-millionaire athletes and celebrities are making sports political and protesting injustices they’ll never experienced. This is the beauty of America. The voices of power speaking up for those who haven’t been heard. I commend these men for doing exactly that.

This is not about the troops or veterans or disrespecting America. This is about it being okay to NOT feel patriotic when as a person of color, the nation’s values seemed skewed against you. This is about flexing our rights to demand change.

 

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Let the NFL Kneel