The right to take a stand

Colin Kaepernick has been back in the media spotlight this past month for his Nike advertisement, but people haven’t forgotten Kaepernick’s last controversial move. With every action made by celebrities under heavy scrutiny, Kaepernick’s initial protest has called to question the idea of whether or not it’s even appropriate to protest like he did.

It was during a 49ers preseason game when Kaepernick first decided to protest the injustices people of color face in the United States of America. Kaepernick felt that the problems in the US had reached a point where he could no longer ignore them, so he remained seated during the national anthem. It wasn’t long after that initial protest that former Seattle Seahawks player Nate Boyer reached out to Kaepernick in August, 2016, with his own opinion on the matter. Boyer’s advice led to Kaepernick’s decision to begin kneeling during the anthem.

Boyer’s piece to the puzzle is an important one because it debunks the initial claim against Kaepernick’s decision. The initial backlash against Kaepernick’s kneeling was due to the opinion that it was disrespectful to the sacrifices made by service members, yet Boyer’s advice on kneeling was offered to respect servicemembers. Kneeling is something soldiers in the Army do to pay respect to fallen comrades. One of Kaepernick’s teammates, Eric Reid, likened the act of kneeling to a flag at half mast.

There are a lot of mixed opinions on the kneeling protest: regardless of the disrespect or lack thereof, many wonder if it’s an effective means to make the statement Kaepernick claims to be out to make. The National Broadcasting Company held a poll in April 2018 that showed a total of 54 percent of registered voters disapproved of the kneeling protest— regardless of purpose, they found it inappropriate to protest during the anthem.

One of the founding principles that built this country is the first amendment that governs the people’s right to peaceful assembly. The first amendment lets the US hold itself accountable through utilization of the newspaper and free speech, and yet people often disregard the right to peaceably assemble.

America’s history is filled with protests whenever the country hit a turning point. From Women’s Suffrage to the famous March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: protests have always been the precursor to change.

People can think what they want — there’s an argument to be made on either side of the conversation. Sifting through the mass of opinions will reveal one truth however: Kaepernick was within his rights as an American citizen to protest. The initial pushback from the National Football League left the debate prominent in its discussions, but they’ve since rescinded their punishment of policy violation.

The NFL kneeling protest has been one of the most divisive controversies to take hold of the country since beginning in 2017. Though the NFL’s most recent policy update has clarified the official stance the league takes on the national anthem protesting, the only certainty is that the protest controversy won’t be ending any time soon.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

Steven Gonzalez

Steven Gonzalez

Steven Gonzalez returns to the Puyallup Post as the Editor-in-Chief for 2018-19. Gonzalez began as a reporter in early 2018 where he worked on opinion pieces, community and campus news, and film reviews on the Puyallup Post's podcast: Post Popcorn Picks. Gonzalez is currently wrapping up his AA as he prepares to transfer to a 4-year university; if only he could decide on which one to go to. Regardless of the university, Gonzalez will be content anywhere he gets to put pen to paper. With writing having been his passion since age 12, Gonzalez has crafted an array of works and has even done freelance work for a couple of travel blogs. Gonzalez loves trying new things and frequently escapes his apartment to go on a hike or tackle an escape room. When he's not spending his time at the college's news room, Gonzalez can be found escaping into a good book or video game, or singing karaoke anywhere a song is playing.
Steven Gonzalez

Latest posts by Steven Gonzalez (see all)

Steven Gonzalez

Steven Gonzalez returns to the Puyallup Post as the Editor-in-Chief for 2018-19. Gonzalez began as a reporter in early 2018 where he worked on opinion pieces, community and campus news, and film reviews on the Puyallup Post's podcast: Post Popcorn Picks. Gonzalez is currently wrapping up his AA as he prepares to transfer to a 4-year university; if only he could decide on which one to go to. Regardless of the university, Gonzalez will be content anywhere he gets to put pen to paper. With writing having been his passion since age 12, Gonzalez has crafted an array of works and has even done freelance work for a couple of travel blogs. Gonzalez loves trying new things and frequently escapes his apartment to go on a hike or tackle an escape room. When he's not spending his time at the college's news room, Gonzalez can be found escaping into a good book or video game, or singing karaoke anywhere a song is playing.

The right to take a stand

by Steven Gonzalez time to read: 2 min
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