Academic Master


Kneeling During National Anthem

Sports have always been considered an arena where people go and try to express themselves. It is one of the prime reasons that sports have gained such a massive following in the United States, as it allows people from diverse backgrounds to come together.

Now, creating political statements has always been a controversial practice in sports. There have been many instances where athletes have used the broader sports platform that games have provided them to their advantage and have tried to show their motivation towards a cause. United States athlete has created their fair share of political statements and controversial gestures. And it has remained a controversial practice. From the instant, black players expressed their disapproval of the racial policies that were carried out in the 1970s in the Olympics. Since then, any sort of protest against policy-making and legislation has always been witnessed as either false bravado or these athletes are heralded as a hero. In this paper, we will look at how recent NFL protests that occurred when they kneeled during the national anthem are going to be looked at. There is nothing wrong with voicing one’s opinion, and if one looks at things in context, then it can be seen how they are affecting a certain community.

Current Debate On Kneeling At National Anthem

It all started with Colin Kaepernick, who ignited a huge debate when he knelt when the national anthem was being played. With the passage of time, as there are strong opinions on either side, both parties are not taking any bulge during the whole activity. Colin Kaepernick protested against racial injustice as well as the increased instances of police brutality in the United States. Not everyone, though, was really impressed with the way the protest was carried out. In the case of any sporting event, the important thing is to make sure that whatever the outside circumstances are, they do not distract themselves from the task at hand. The other issue at hand is the standing of the athlete at any given point in time. By kneeling to the national anthem, they are not going to get the sort of results that they are after, and it improves their long-term standing in the eyes of the sports enthusiast.

Why So Much Focus

One of the reasons that the athletes kneeling to the national anthem is creating such uproar is due to the fact that the nationalist environment that one gets to see in the current context. The key consideration that people feel is that kneeling to the national anthem goes against its sanctity. People are aggrieved that how the nationalistic identity of the country is being compromised due to open acts of defiance against the national anthem. The protest in itself has not been criticized that much due to the racial and ethnic climate at the moment. The main issue is how people are reacting to the way the overall protest has been carried out in the given time period, to say the least.

Rationale Presented By People Who Refuse To Stand Up During National Anthem

One of the key reasons that are being given by the athletes that they are not standing for the anthem is the fact that these athletes are well within their rights to use their celebrity status to draw their attention towards it. According to the protesters, the main thing that has to be kept in mind is that when someone is kneeling to the national anthem. Not only is it a sign of a protest in a really powerful manner, but one can say these things really send an emphatic statement. In a democratic society, it is very important for all the members to make sure that in the wake of the disagreement, they do not lose their composure. Kneeling to the national anthem is an effective method of protest that allows people to engage in a meaningful debate without resorting to violence.

Kneeling And Legal Form Of Protest

The key thing that needs to be looked at is the way legislation and the Constitution view it. It has to be noted that as per the First Amendment, the right to protest is deemed as one of the basic human rights of the person. In their defense, they are just exercising the constitutional right that they have been given. The right to be recognized and the individual to express them is one of the building blocks of the Constitution. Per them, people who claim this practice to be an insult to the American flag, then the counter-argument is that it merely shows the respect that they have for their users.


In hindsight, it can be said that kneeling during the narration of the national anthem is something that is not as controversial as it is made out to be. These people are protesting against some of the things in society that are wrong at the broader level, and rather than creating any nuisance, they are registering their protest in a poignant manner. As a matter of fact, they are using their constitutional right to protest, and by exercising their right in the appropriate manner, they have indeed set a good precedent.

Work Cited

Belson, Ken. “Goodell and NFL: Owners Break From Players on Anthem Kneeling Fight,”, 10/10/2017.

Casteel, Kathryn. “How Do Americans Feel About the NFL Protests”, 10/9/2017.

Ehrlich, Robert. “Out of Touch Kneeling NFL Players Are Starting to Ruin Emotional Attachment to Football,”, 10/15/2017.

Lewis, Nicole. “The NFL and the First Amendment” 10/5/2017.

Reid, Eric. “Eric Reid: Why Colin Kaepernick and I Decided to Take a Knee”, 9/25/17.



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