Kneeling During the Anthem Disrespectful

James Sahakian

To do anything other than stand with your hand on your chest during the National Anthem would be disrespectful to the United States of America. The protesting by sitting, kneeling, locking arms with teammates, and remaining in the locker room during the National Anthem has been disgraceful.

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began the political expression last year when he chose to sit during the National Anthem of a preseason game. Kaepernick stated he refused to stand for the American flag because of police brutality and racial discrimination.

Slowly, this movement has spread nationwide with many players and team associates choosing to sit or kneel during the national anthem. A new protest involves some professional teams not even coming out until the anthem is over.

What professional athletes are doing is not unconstitutional, but it is still a disrespectful protest. To not stand for the Star-Spangled Banner is completely un-American.

To not stand with your hand over your chest is impolite and dishonorable to everyone who sacrificed their time and life for our freedom. When Americans do not properly salute the flag, they are saying that our veterans and those who lost their lives did not need to fight for our freedom. This movement does not appreciate the true American heroes.

The protest is completely unpatriotic. This protest gives fuel to people who believe the United States is a terrible country. People will see shame on Americans who refuse to stand for their own national anthem. The nation cannot be viewed as an ultimate country when we have more focus on sitting during the anthem instead of finding solutions to debt and poverty. Those who do not stand properly supports people who are truly racist and bigoted. This may be a loud claim, but when the flag is rejected, so is everything the country stands for. The United States represents freedom for all no matter the skin of one’s color and sexual orientation. When people do not stand to support what the nation represents, there is not a difference between them and those who are truly filled with hate.  America is a country where people can worship freely, support political parties, and try to accomplish any dream. This guarantee has united American citizens throughout our history, from the Revolutionary War, through the Great Depression and September 11 attacks. All of that is in vain when we do not stand for the flag, which represents these guarantees of freedom.

Refusing to stand for the National Anthem is angering many and creating more division in our nation.  Kaepernick and others who have refused to stand for the National Anthem have caused division among their teams, fans, and across the country. In the beginning of the protest, the Santa Clara police union implied they would boycott providing security at games after Kaepernick revealed his reasons for protesting the National Anthem and wore socks depicting pigs in police uniforms. Some fans burned Kaepernick’s jersey to show their disgust for his actions. Many fans have voiced their distaste for an athlete who makes over a million dollars a year and can’t salute the flag.

Instead of protesting the National Anthem, athletes should be involved in civic activism. American history is filled with Civil Rights figures who appropriately protested. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Malcolm X are perfect examples of this. They did not disrespect the country; they were not afraid to state racial and civil issues. They revealed the nation’s problems instead of focusing on an unimportant matter like the national anthem. Doing this, they inspired many to fight for their freedom.

It Is understandable why people are protesting the National Anthem. Many people are dealing with discrimination and police brutality. Also, President Donald Trump’s comments a few weeks ago saying athletes kneeling during the National Anthem should be fired used inappropriate language and was wrong to do so. This, too, caused anger and division and protesting.

However, protesting the anthem will not cause every racist to change his or her ways. It is only increasing the anger within the nation. The protesting of the flag may give racists more reason to be hateful.

The United States of America is suffering from a lot of issues. Racism, poverty, and sexism are seen throughout the country. But not to stand for the National Anthem is not the answer to fix these issues. To sit, kneel, lock arms with others, or remain in the locker room, is disrespectful and un-American.