The last five words of the Pledge of Allegiance read, “liberty and justice for all.” These are the exact words that Colin Kaepernick is protesting when he exercised his right to either sit, or stand during the National Anthem. In accumulating opinions and listening to both sides of this cultural argument, I have formed my own opinion and cannot decide whether I’m for, or against what the 49ers Quarterback did.
Since there are more negative viewpoints about this subject, I’ll start with those. The main reason that Kaepernick is being bombarded with sayings such as, “I fought for your right to stand during the National Anthem” or with the premise of people putting their lives on the line for this country, his actions are tainting those sacrifices that the men and women in the armed forces are making. I can understand both of these statements, being that “6,845 Americans have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 900,000 Americans have been injured in both wars.” (Huffington Post)
This statistic alone illustrates the amount of human lives contributing to the protection of this country, and those who live to see the civilian side of the war know how much their fellow comrades gave to protect their neighbors. The side that is against Kaepernick believes that he is disgracing what America has fought so hard to achieve and cannot sympathize with his actions.
On the flip side of this situation, I also believe that what he “sits” for, is sparking a much needed debate around the country. His opinion or what he is sticking up for is the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) and this idea has been under the microscope in the news for the past few months, for what is happening against African Americans and police brutality.
If you remove yourself from this situation, when will it ever be respected when someone protests something? In this day and age, people who stand up for what they believe in are met with riot teams and that causes an uproar that sparks civil unrest and violence. In this situation, we have a NFL Quarterback who knows that he is in the national spotlight, standing up for an idea that he feels strongly about.
After presenting his side of the story, he is met with full force about why he should have kept this to himself. When will it ever be okay to bring up a subject that needs to be talked about? Never. Kaepernick is joined by many other celebrities who feel the same about this topic and that is exhibiting the fact that this isn’t an idea that will just be pushed aside. Americans need to talk about this and Colin Kaepernick happened to be the form of transportation that brought this to light.
In conclusion, I can see both sides of this argument, however, this issue needed to be brought to the forefront of the American people. People need to come together, because ALL lives matter. Just because one group of people put a color to their movement, doesn’t mean that others have to be offended by their stance, due to the race of people in particular that are being affected the most.
In order for this nation to come together, citizens need to put themselves in each others shoes and understand the oppression that others are facing.