It’s Disrespecting Our Anthem

Shabib Afzal, Staff Writer

Ever since Donald Trump has been elected, it is seemingly impossible for almost anything to not become politicized, regardless of what that thing is. Sports are no exception to this.

While the national anthem protests started with Colin Kaepernick while president Obama was in office, these protests have become even more prevalent.

The topic itself is discussed within the media to the point of absurdity.

Personally, I do not agree with kneeling during the national anthem. I feel as if the gesture is disrespectful and while it may start a discussion on topics, such as police brutality, I do not view this as the best way to bring awareness to said cause.

That being said, I do not view these protests as anti-American.

One could even argue that these players are being patriotic in practicing their First Amendment rights.

My biggest gripe with these protests has nothing to do with the protests themselves, but rather the outrage that these protests have caused.

Trump going on twitter to state that NFL players should be fired for practicing their constitutional rights is insane and worrisome.

Some are even upset at teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers for not being outside during the anthem.

This is despite the fact that their head coach stated that their reason for doing this was because they wanted to remove themselves from the situation, which, in itself, is now seen as a political statement.

Something I’ve observed from this situation are the similarities in the outrage that some people have shown. While many—mostly those against the protests—have called for boycotting the NFL, rapper and St. John’s alum J. Cole ranted on Twitter about his dissatisfactions with the NFL and called for the same thing because of their treatment of Kaepernick.

Do I think boycotting the NFL, regardless of why, is going to be effective?

Absolutely not.

Nor am I stating I think these protests should continue or not.

I just wonder if the reaction that they have caused is furthering their cause, or polarizing us so much so that it almost seems comical.