First Right Gone Wrong?
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Politics and Activism

First Right Gone Wrong?

How can opinions affect our constitutional right?

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First Right Gone Wrong?
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Since December 15, 1791 it is our constitutional right as Americans to have the freedom of speech, practice of religion, press, and to assemble. The troops of America fight and die on a daily basis for such freedom. It is important that we use these rights because there are people who give their lives in exchange for us, and most importantly, there are countries in the world who don't have them. The question is, in what ways are we supposed to express these rights? When is an appropriate time? How is it wrong to practice your rights?

Colin Kaepernick is an American citizen who plays backup quarterback in the NFL for the San Francisco 49ers. This season the 28 year old man chose to express his first amendment in the right way, as he took a knee during the national anthem of the 49ers football game. The national anthem is usually a time when people stand up, if capable, with their right hand over their heart and pledge the US flag as proud Americans; however, Kaepernick did not stand. This act brought a lot of attention both positive and negative. Kaepernick clearly felt the need to practice his first amendment right and freely express himself during what seemed to be the most controversial time. People must wonder why anyone would express himself like that?

Kaepernick chose to express himself as such because he wanted to make a point. He, like other Americans, want to shed light on a growing problem in our country. With the publicity the national football players receive, there was no better way to grab America’s attention and have this incident spread extremely fast. Players across the league have assembled and taken knees as well for the same national issue as Kaepernick. Are these players wrong for expressing themselves?

If every American citizen has the right to speak freely, practice beliefs, and assembly, then this action should not be seen as wrong. Yes, this is an act that may be taken as disrespect to our nation’s troops, but it does not seem to be their motive. Yes, the timing of the act is a bit extreme, but these players chose to protest the anthem specifically because they have problems and concerns with our country. In fact, our troops are a huge part of the reason we have these rights to stand up and speak out about political issues. People across the country protest daily about local issues, jobs, rights, and more. These NFL players should not be seen any differently because of the job they have or status they contain. At the end of the day, these players are citizens before they are American entertainers, and all citizens have the same constitutional rights.

How is it wrong to practice your right? For the past 225 years, people of America have been under the protection of the first constitutional amendment. Since then people have protested for equality, rights, and changes in society. Treat this situation no different. These individuals are using their status to improve the power of their protest and should not be criticized for it. If the reason behind the protest was an opinion that everyone shared there would not be any backlash, but because they are people who do not feel the same way they will automatically deem him wrong.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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