It all started last year when Colin Kaepernick decided to take a knee during the Star Spangled Banner. National Anthem protests dominated NFL headlines throughout last season, and now they have continued over to this season. Other NFL players have followed suit, and they have caused social outcry across the nation. The Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans remained in the tunnel for the performance of the Anthem, and nearly the entire Oakland Raiders sideline was on a knee for the Anthem last week amongst many other protests.
President Donald Trump has stirred a lot of controversy by saying that if a player refuses to stand for the Anthem, the owner of the team should cut him, and “get that son of a bitch of the field.” The country is deeply divided on the issue. Social media is blowing up over the Anthem prospects. Many NFL players spoke out against Trump, and after Trump’s comments, even more teams protested during the Anthem. Arguably the biggest name in the NFL, Tom Brady, who is friends with the president and is speculated to be a political supporter of his, joined his teammates in locking arms while the Anthem was being performed. Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who is also rumored to be a supporter of Trump, stood next to Brady with his arms crossed.
“I don’t have a problem with someone kneeling for the Anthem,” Junior Jackson Pickett said. “I think that the general public’s reaction and all the outcry is overblown.”
On the opposite end of the spectrum, many people feel like the players should stand up and stick to football. “I don’t like when the players kneel for the Anthem, and I think they should just play football,” Junior Aidan Lee countered. “If they are so passionate about what they are kneeling for they should actually take action and donate money and spend time in those communities.”
Kaepernick remains unsigned, but his impact on the culture of the NFL right now is arguably more important than the outcome on the field. Currently in America, this issue is being covered heavily by every major news source and has motivated President Trump to make some very controversial remarks, inevitably stirring the pot even more in the country. The public’s reaction to the actions of players have been drastically different, causing an even deeper rift between the public’s social and political views.