NFL Protests: Player Perspective

By Kayleene Wopershall, Trending Writer

Back in 2016, Colin Kaepernick was the first NFL player to not stand during the national anthem. The first time he protested, he merely sat down during the anthem, but for respect of those who fought for our country and those who are still fighting, he decided to take a knee moving forward. This trend has since caught on and many other NFL players have decided to take a knee in silent, peaceful protest to what the US recently represents.

At the time in 2016 when Kaepernick decided to begin this protest, he stated, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color… There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” His protest started because of the recent police brutality against minorities and people of color, which also encouraged the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement.

This past month, some entire teams have decided to protest by staying in their locker rooms before the game starts. Specifically, the Seattle Seahawks state, “As a team, we have decided we will not participate in the national anthem. We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms.”

It has sparked a chain reaction for other sports teams, such as players in MLB, WMBA, NASCAR. Even well-known individuals, including Stevie Wonder, have either taken a knee, locked arms with each other, or even just have not been present during the national anthem.

Our current president, Donald Trump, has responded to these events on Twitter, calling for the NFL to fire those who are kneeling during the anthem. In response to the President’s tweets, Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner, Shad Khan states, “We have a lot of work to do, and we can do it, but the comments by the President make it harder. That’s why it was important for us, and personally for me, to show the world that even if we may differ at times, we can and should be united in the effort to become better as people and a nation.”

It seems that everyone involved in this movement is on the same page – end police brutality and racism in the US.


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

Contact Kayleene at

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