This past weekend, hundreds of NFL players, mostly African-Americans participated in demonstrations against the national anthem. Or were they participating in demonstrations in light of President Trump’s comment’s?
Early Friday, Trump stated those that kneel should be fired and NFL owners should “get those sons of bitches off the field.”
None of the above is the correct reason and many Americans seem to misunderstand nor want to empathize why players are kneeling in the first place.
This stems a bigger social issue. People see players kneeling and the first thought that comes to their mind is “they are disrespecting this nation and its troops!”
They argue “my family fought in died in wars for your freedoms,” but aren’t those the same freedoms that allow these players and individuals to kneel in the first place?
Last year, Colin Kaepernick laid it out a very cut and dry reason to why he was kneeling during the national anthem.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
This was not a stand against Donald Trump, this was not to disrespect America or its troops, this was Colin Kaepernick using his platform to voice his opinion on an issue of great importance and bring change to this country.
Although we mention Colin Kaepernick, he is not the first athlete to make a controversial statement.
At the 1968 Olympics held in Mexico City, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fist during the national anthem. They did so not to disrespect the troops, but to bring light a subject too many Americans are brushing aside, back then and now.
Race and racial inequality is still a prevalent issue in this country years after the civil rights movement and slavery.
Too many people don’t care to know why we kneel or why we demonstrate in these manners, here are just 7 reasons why we kneel.
- African-Americans account for 24 percent of those fatally shot and killed by the police despite just making up 13 percent of the U.S population.
- African-Americans are twice as likely to be shot and killed by police officers than white Americans.
- African-American males make up 37 percent of the total prison population of the nation. (2,300 per 100,000)
- African-Americans with a bachelor’s degree earn significantly less than whites with a bachelor’s degree. ($82,300 vs $106,600)
- The median income for African-Americans is significantly less than white counterparts. ($43,300 vs $71,300)
- African-Americansare more than twice as likely to live in poverty than white people.
- African-Americans are twice as likely to be unemployed than whites.
The whole point to peaceful protesting and kneeling is to bring change and equality for people of color. It’s an issue that brings a lot of debate with varying opinions. The main message is that people of color are not treated as equally in society as their white counterparts. Colin Kaepernick has dedicated his life to fighting that cause and brought the necessary change this nation needs.
That is why we kneel.