Kaepernick Sits, In Order to Stand Up
Patriotism is defined as: “an emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland. Every person in this country has the right to exercise their opinions in every topic, as long as it is not in a threatening way towards the state itself. With the media being what it is today, if you are a well-known athlete, politician, or any person with a large following, your everyday life is constantly being dissected. Regardless of how you perceive the media’s ability to cover anything and everything, having the constant flow of information is important in everyday life so we have the opportunity to form our own opinions. Recently a headlining story in the sports media has been the actions (or lack of actions) by Colin Kaepernick. He has boycotted standing for the national anthem to protest the treatment of blacks by the police force and the country itself stating, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” In the past, Kaepernick has used his platform quietly to bring these issues to light on his Instagram. It appears he has taken his actions to the next level in an effort to get people talking - and yes, they are talking. While it is not our place to have an opinion, it is clear to see why so many Americans are outraged. Many people are focused on the action and not the motivation for it, while others do not agree with either. But regardless of the opinions, he has succeeded in his goal of starting a conversation.
Within the past few days he has not backed down from his statements or actions, and has even committed to continuing his protest until “things start to change.” The 49’ers have released a statement acknowledging his freedom to exercise his opinion saying, “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.” Needless to say, everyone involved in the situation has something to gain and lose.
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