When Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the U.S. national anthem, to peacefully protest against police brutality, no one would have ever dreamed that is would become such a large movement. Who would have ever thought that the President of the United States would end up being against NFL players bending the knee to peacefully protest against police brutality in the United States?
The protests started with Colin Kaepernick, old San Francisco 49ers quarterback, but exploded this year after President Donald Trump stated that any players that kneel during the national anthem should be fired.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,'” Trump said during the Arizona rally. “You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s going to say, ‘That guy that disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it (but) they’ll be the most popular person in this country.”
After Trump’s statement, many athletes responded with angry tweets aimed at President Trump. More athletes decided to kneel during the National Anthem, some locked arm to show there solidarity and others decided to stay in their locker room.
After an informal poll was taken by Siena College, it is clear that most of America is siding with the NFL players.
The results were as follow:
• 60% of New Yorkers said that the First Amendment protects the rights of all Americans and that they support the NFL players.
• 38% of New Yorkers were against the kneeling of the National Anthem. According to this 38% NFL players are being disrespectful when they kneel during the anthem.
• Three-quarters of New York Democrats support the NFL player’s decision.
• 71% of Republicans are against the kneeling during the anthem.
• 57% of independents back the NFL players.
• 41% of independents do not support the NLF players.
There are some who believe that these protests are race related since during the anthem those kneeling are mostly African-Americans. Some of the viewers during NFL matches have resorted to screaming racial slurs at players. The NFL takes this very seriously and is currently investigating these reports.
Some see it as unnecessary for NFL players to mix politics with sport and feel they should protest for their beliefs on their own time. Others believe that the NFL players are kneeling during the national anthem and mixing sport and politics because in this way, more people will see and the more publicity this issue will receive.
Most of New York supports the NFL player’s decision to kneel during the National Anthem, in protest against police brutality in the United States. That leaves a question; will one of these NFL owners, who fired an NFL player, really be that popular?