Story by Brooklyn Waggoner, Saint Reporter
Photo courtesy of wall.alphacoders.com
America the free, home of the brave. Ours is a country known to be dripping in patriotism; national pride shining by the dawn’s early light is kind of our thing. And we’ve got some pretty cool rights here: the right to peacefully protest, for instance. But in recent weeks, one public figure has gone about exercising that right in a controversial manner.
NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick began kneeling, rather than standing, for the national anthem on Aug. 14th. On the 26th, the nation took notice. The athlete cited human rights violations and police brutality as basis for his “protest,” but he quickly became the central figure in a widespread debate of another sort.
To stand or not to stand for the national anthem should not be a question.
Before the athlete could finish his official statement, his cause was already being forgotten, rewritten. Kaepernick’s intentions may have been pure, but his execution left far too much room for manipulation. When he objected to the national anthem, a song which has become a thank you to those who have served our country, nobody read Kaepernick’s mind. His act of protest was so vague, almost lazy. And those who connect deeply with the anthem, the flag, and the country they represent took offense.
Protests, like passion, should not be passive. To sit by and let injustice stand? Protest wrongs when you feel moved to. But out of respect, stand for our national anthem. Stand for our country.