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Kneeling for a cause?

Kneeling during the national anthem reoccurs after Trump’s involvement

Rachel DeCesaris, Editor-in-Chief

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Why do people protest? What is the point of fighting for anything? Is there any right way to protest something? These questions constantly arise after the focus on kneeling during the national anthem.

The protesting first took place during football games in 2016 when football players protested for equal rights. Why did this issue rise again? Trump recently gave his two cents on the whole issue causing a greater riot to occur.

“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great America Flag (or country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!” Trump said on Twitter.

Trump clearly states that nobody should kneel during the national anthem, but did anybody ever look at why? Many people view kneeling as being disrespectful to the military and veterans who fought for our country.

If veterans are OK with that fact, should this whole discussion just stop? In the Constitution, everyone has been given the right to freedom of speech, therefore a person can peacefully protest anything they want.

Why are others so concerned with what other people do to protest? Colin Kaepernick started this whole debate in August of 2016 to protest racial injustice. This immediately sparked conversation throughout America, which then grew throughout the NFL and celebrities everywhere.

A reason as to why people are OK if people kneel include the fact that Americans have the ability to peacefully protest. When America doesn’t live up to its name of its ideals of freedom and liberty, someone should be allowed to express themselves in however they see fit. Another pro is that when a public figure, like an NFL star, protests, it shocks people into paying attention and listening to what that person has to say. Each person has the ability to use their First Amendment right and use their freedom of speech to fight for what they believe in.

On the flip side, there are reasons as to why people are against others kneeling during the national anthem. This could be shown as a sign of disrespect to veterans and the American flag.

“It just blows my mind that somebody like (Kaepernick) would do what he does to dishonor the flag of this country and the national anthem when we have young men and women overseas fighting for this country, people that have died for this country,” Carole Isham, a great-great-great-granddaughter of Francis Scott Key said.

On a football level, coaches like Dabo Swinney, coach of the Clemson University football team, said that it can be distracting to the team to try and make this grandstand during a game. The thought of trying to protest can take away from a football game and distract the players from doing their best to win.

An ultimate con is that this issue has caused a division within the country. Every day, people fight for freedom, go to work, form opinions and create a living for themselves. Everyone has the same goal in life: to live together. Why does everyone have to give their thoughts into somebody else’s legal right to protest? The division between Americans has caused rippling effects where, in times of need, Americans are focused on peaceful protests instead of focusing on larger issues such as lowering the poverty rate or working to better themselves.

Before anybody decides to leave their opinion, the whole story must be told first. People need to decide if it’s even worth it to argue over little things instead of becoming one united country, which is what America has always stood for, along with the ability to have freedom and liberty.

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Freedom Area High School's Student Newspaper
Kneeling for a cause?