NFL takes a knee against police brutality

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Sports has always found a way to bring people in the community together.

Whether it’s coming together during a championship run, in tragedy, or even in the comfort of common interest, professional athletes, especially superstars, are viewed highly in the public eye and are leaders in their own communities. They have a civic duty to serve their communities and bring attention or aid to problems that plague them.

Over this past year there has been heated debate over the protests during the national anthem since Colin Kaepernick took a knee to bring notoriety to issues affecting his community. The former 49er quarterback was protesting police brutality because of racial oppression. He is currently not working for the NFL. Instead, Kaepernick is working as an activist in communities that suffer from racial inequalities.

This debate has grown with the new comments made by the POTUS while speaking at a campaign rally for Sen. Luther Strange in Huntsville, Ala. this past weekend when he went on a tangent about the NFL. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’” This new rhetoric has sparked the still controversial shock waves throughout the NFL and their communities.

As a result several NFL teams joined in the protest in solidarity in complete civil disobedience. The entire Tennessee Titans and the Seattle Seahawks teams’ did not come onto the field during the national anthem and remained in the locker room. The question of whether or not it is respectful is up to each individual.

The ironic part is that NFL players were not out on the field during the national anthem before 2009. The NFL did not mandate their players be on the field until they began receiving funds from the government. This is paid endorsement to endorse and boost military recruitment. And you think Kaepernick taking a knee is the controversy?

The comments made by the POTUS are blasphemous of what these players do for their communities, in which they are exercising their first amendment rights of freedom of speech. I applaud the players’ unity to bring attention to the status quo for what we can all benefit from as a community, instead of cracking under the pressure of the division that is taking place in this country.

The POTUS has also cause quarrel in the NBA through Twitter by withdrawing the invitation to visit the White House by Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors. “Going to the White House is considered a great honor for a championship team. Stephen Curry is hesitating, therefore invitation is withdrawn!” Trump said. His reaction was based on reports that the star point guard did not want to attend. “By acting and not going, hopefully, that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country, what is accepted, and what we turn a blind eye toward. We’re all trying to do what we can using our platforms, using our opportunities to shed light on that. I don’t think us not going to the White House will miraculously make everything better, but this is my opportunity to voice that,” Curry said.

Not just Stephen Curry but most of this past 2017 NBA Championship team’s roster originally turned down their White House invitations. These players refuse to associate with this administration, because it is a conflict to their communities’ belief system. They made a choice to not have their brand attributed with this status quo.

People are failing to see that the big picture is not what they are doing, but what they are doing it for. It is not the government’s business to be telling us how to protest. It is the government’s job to govern, not to dictate.

These players are exercising their rights with these forms of political activism to bring people’s attention to the issues that Americans face every day.

Players protesting the national anthem is not a matter of disrespect for those that serve. What is disrespectful to our military and veterans is not exercising our rights that they sacrificed for. That is the real depiction of unpatriotic.