The NFL Protests Are Causing Controversy For Everyone
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The NFL Protests Are Causing Controversy For Everyone

From athletes to our president, these protests have caused everyone to voice their strong feelings

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The NFL Protests Are Causing Controversy For Everyone
Wikimedia Commons

It all started with one football player. In September 2016, while everyone took to their feet for the National Anthem, one player decided to sit down.

Former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made the decision not to stand with everyone else.

"I'll continue to sit. I'm going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change. When there's a significant change and I feel that flag represents what it's supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it's supposed to, I'll stand," Kaepernick said. "This stand wasn’t for me. This is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice, people that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard, and effect change. So I’m in the position where I can do that and I’m going to do that for people that can’t."

When it first started, the protests weren't as popular, with only 10 football players kneeling. Kaepernick would go on to be blackballed.

He opted to become a free agent and has yet to find a team. He was called vile names by fans. President Trump supposedly bragged on Twitter, saying his account was the reason no team had signed Kaepernick.

After Kaepernick, Eric Reid and Jeremy Lanes began to show their support. Nate Boyer and Kaepernick had a meeting about the protests before a game.

"Being able to move forward and understanding what [Kaepernick] message is but also understanding what that flag means is important," Boyer said. "We talked about change a lot and how to get a positive change to happen. We talked about issues that are taking place in this country and how to prompt change but I also reminded him the great freedoms and luxuries we have in America."

After the meeting, Kaepernick and Reid chose to kneel instead of sit during the National Anthem. He said it was to show more respect for the military.

The support from the other players would increase later on. Our president would be responsible for almost doubling the number of peaceful protests.

President Trump held a rally in Huntsville, Alabama, where he talked about what he would do to the protesting players if he were a coach. He used derogatory comments, regarding the protestors as "that son of a bitch."

He then took to Twitter, again, to release some more scathing comments about the protests.

Since then, athletes from many football teams and other sports have joined in support. Either kneeling, linking arms, throwing their fists in the air or refusing to come out of the locker rooms, they want to make a statement.

A few Miami players stood and locked arms. Julius Thomas, Michael Thomas and Kenny Stills took a knee. The Rams Robert Quinn and the Cowboys David Irving raised their fists during the National Anthem.

Seven Seahawks players stayed seated. For the first time, an MLB rookie with the Oakland Athletics knelt down during the singing of the National Anthem. The rookie, Bruce Maxwell, later said: "we have a racial divide that's being practiced from the highest power we have in the country."

Athletes of the WNBA demonstrated their own protest. The Los Angeles Sparks stayed in their locker rooms and the Minnesota Lynx linked arms.

Many people are against the protests.

Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty said: "anyone who does not stand up for the anthem ought to be out of the country". The Republican congressman from Iowa, Steve King, agreed that owners should fire the protestors on their teams.

Paul Ryan called the protests "misguided" and went on to explain himself during a press conference.

"I think it's misguided to protest the anthem or the flag because people don't see it as an issue, as some political issue -- they see it as protesting against the people who have‎ given their lives for this country and the ideals we all strive for to make a more perfect union," he said.

Some players have even taken this off the field and straight to the lawmakers.

Malcolm Jenkins, Torrey Smith, and Chris Long went to the Pennsylvania State Capitol to discuss reforms for Pennsylvania's criminal justice system.

"It takes a lot of sacrifice but the ball has been rolled and that's a good thing," Jenkins said. "We've seen other guys getting involved in their communities, other teams, other players. And, a lot of that comes from leading by example."

Whether it is for or against these protests, it seems as though this is not going away any time soon. Players have made themselves very clear that change needs to happen and they won't rest until they see it happening.

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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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