NFL Protests: Background

By Kelly McCool, Trending Writer

After Donald Trump became president of the United States, there has been a large increase of protests throughout the nation. People have been speaking out on their concerns for the country and where it has been heading. In recent news, there was one more significant protest that has since taken the country by storm—the national anthem protests by the National Football League (NFL) players. During these protests, the football players take a knee during the national anthem, rather than pledging allegiance to the American flag. Heated discussions and arguments about whether this was alright for the NFL players to do has been plaguing the country ever since the protest. Before one can decide their personal side of the argument, it is important to know the background of the protests and what the players are speaking out against. One of the most prominent social issues that the players were arguing is racism in America—especially regarding police brutality.

One of the first NFL players who spoke out about racism in the country was Colin Kaepernick. His thought process behind this was that he felt that people of color are still being oppressed in America. When he was asked to comment on his viewpoint, Kaepernick said he was “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”. Whether blaming the American flag for racism was the right way to handle the situation, for Kaepernick and his fellow NFL players, kneeling for the flag was a way to say that the country was in the wrong for not fully ending racism. Once Trump became president, many of the NFL players have claimed that there had been a rise in racism and that Trump was the reason for it. Because of this, they decided to take a stand against the flag.

Another reason Kaepernick said that he was protesting was because police brutality often goes on without any repercussions for the police officers involved. One main argument that was presented was that the police officers who killed someone should be getting more jail time than what they had been receiving. There was also the idea that if a regular person with no police involvement were to murder someone, they would have to go to jail for a long time, but when a police officer does the same thing, they get off easy for it. The players involved in the protest saw this as a hypocrisy that exists in America and it was something that needed to stop.

Regardless of the various opinions about the protest by the NFL players, it is safe to assume that protests will continue until those involved feel as though all Americans are treated with equal respect.


A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 24th print edition.

Contact Kelly at


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