To kneel or not to kneel

The NFL is set to do battle with some of its players during the 2018-2019 season as the decision to stand during the national anthem resurfaces yet again.

By Vicente Vitela, Sports Editor


Protests are statements or actions expressing their disapproval of a certain issue or objection and in the sports world players are choosing to use their voice to promote equality for all.


Many high profile athletes receive criticism over the decisions they make in their lives which can range anywhere from a wrong pitch, to a questionable pass. However, with the 2018 NFL season right around the corner, the focus at the start of the season will be less on what the players do during the game, instead on what they do before the game. Most notably on the decision to stand, kneel, or simply not appear for the nation anthem.


If you ask me, it would be an understatement for people to say that athletes should just do what they’re paid to do because athletes are not only people who we cheer for, but are in some ways ambassadors, especially to the younger generation. The idea that sports protests are a negative thing would be incorrect. In fact, they are doing what they are intended to which is shed light on a pressing issue.


What started back in 2016 as a questionable decision by Colin Kaepernick, who chose to kneel during the singing of the national anthem, sparked a controversy that has reached heights as high as The White House. Kaepernick’s decision was ignited after a series of wrongful deaths, African Americans in particular, by the police.


The decision to kneel was received with mixed reactions, with people supporting his decision, and others who think it was both outrageous and disrespectful to people who have served our country.

One thing that seems to get lost in all the madness, was the message he was trying to promote.


Kaepernick was trying to promote a stance against police brutality, which seems to have resurfaced as of late, and chose to send his message via one of the most watched sports in the United States. In fact, in the United States in 2015, over 31 billion hours of TV were spent watching sports according to statista.com.


With one of the most notable sports protests taking place during the 1968 Olympics when athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in the air with black gloves to promote human rights, protests and sports are no stranger to one another.


In my opinion, this makes sports open to all kinds of promotions whether it be ones they agree with or disagree with. In this case, the decision to promote equal rights for all is one that I can approve because the facts are there to prove it.

The Valley Star 

Los Angeles Valley College

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