Peacefully protesting is every American’s right, but doing so during the anthem is misguided
By Jacoby Haley
The athletes of America have been protesting social issues more than ever. In response to wrong doings in America, athletes have taken it upon themselves to kneel as a form of dissatisfaction with the country.
A protest about social issues is more than acceptable and often deserving, but it’s the way that said protest is carried out that makes the difference. The actions that are being taken to perform this protest are completely misguided and misdirected.
In an attempt to bring knowledge to civil, social, and racial issues, these athletes have stirred up a large chunk of our nation’s citizens and in doing so essentially spit in the face of millions of service members.
According to the U.S. flag code, kneeling for the anthem is not disrespectful; however, to millions of Americans it is. The issue is simple: show some respect and stand.
Why? Because millions of brave men and women fought and died long before you even existed, just so you may even have the opportunity to hear the national anthem played let alone play a professional sport and get paid large amounts to do so.
Which leads to another amazing solution which, not surprisingly, a number of these athletes are unwilling to do: donate. One may think with the collective hundreds of millions of dollars these men possess, they, as a whole would, be more than eager to truly make a difference by funding change.
When Colin Kaepernick was asked if any NFL athletes had contacted him about becoming socially active or funding change he told Bleacher Report that he was “frustrated” no one had been in contact with him.
The worst part of this whole ordeal is all the wrong it is doing. This wrong being the level of counterproductiveness which is extremely high as this protest accomplishes nearly the exact opposite of what it was supposed to.
The idea of the protest was to bring people together as a nation; also it had advocated for the idea of speaking for unity and understanding, shedding light on social issues, and recently, to show discontent with elected officials.
The protest has successfully done one thing: at least people know their hatred for the man leading their country.
Anything else? Nope, not one bit. People aren’t talking about the issues they wanted attention drawn to, rather people are talking about the anthem and disrespecting the flag.
It has driven a number of like-minded people apart, as well as completely avoided the original objectives of the protest: to shed light on social injustices and as a momentum gaining push for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Their actions of disrespect in no way lead back to gaining respect. The wrong people are being targeted by this, which I may add are the people who served for our nation and deserve only the utmost respect.
Two of the largest U.S. veterans groups are outspoken against the athletes’ protest. The national commander for the American Legion, Denise Rohan, called NFL athletes and others in support of the protest “misguided” in a recent interview with The Hill.
“The professional athletes and those in support of this protest are misguided and ungrateful,” Rohan said. “Having the right to do something does not make it the right thing to do.”
The protest it is ineffective and disrespectful to the service men and women of our great nation and should be stopped as it is being carried out immediately.