Taking a knee stirs controversy

By Phillip Aycock
Pulse Staff Reporter

Washington Redskins National Anthem Kneeling
Photo of Washington Redskins players taking a knee. Photo courtesy of en.wikipedia.org.

Before a 2016 week three National Football League preseason game on August 26 against the Green Bay Packers, Colin Kaepernick kneeled before and during the national anthem. His reason for kneeling was to peacefully protest the killings of black men by police in America.

Kaepernick received a lot of negative attention because of his kneeling during the national anthem.

Andrew Jimenez, a sophomore majoring in Mass Communications here at Palo Alto, thinks that Kaepernick is doing the right thing by staging a peaceful protest.

“I support him. I think it came to light at no better time because police brutality towards black men needs to stop,” said Jimenez.

In 2016, 34 percent of the unarmed people killed by police were black. Overall, 258 black people were killed by police, and 39 of the victims were unarmed. In 2017, according to the Washington Post, 903 people have been shot by police. This year, a quarter of the victims had some sort of mental illness. This year, police have shot 12 unarmed black men across the country.

When Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem in August of 2016, a lot of people thought he was disrespecting the American flag and the military.

Jennifer Andermatt, an English professor at Palo Alto said, “I respect what he is doing, exercising his right, but not in that way and not in that venue and not during that song.”

Kaepernick knew that he wasn’t going to have everybody’s support. He said that he was doing this for the oppressed and for the people who had no voice.

Another huge reason why Kaepernick was doing this is because of the platform he has. He is a big-time N.F.L player who is known around the league, so he used his celebrity platform to raise awareness of this issue.

Kaepernick also had 110 percent support from his teammate Eric Reid; Eagles Safety Malcolm Jenkins; Broncos Linebacker Brandon Marshall; and eight other players who also kneeled in support. One of Marshall’s sponsors parted ways with him after he kneeled during the national anthem before his Week 1 game in 2016.

All of these men have one common goal, which is to spread awareness of the killings of black men by America’s law enforcement. Kaepernick and other big name N.F.L. players have met with N.F.L owners and executives and local city officials to discuss how to make a positive difference in this situation.






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