Many people have seen San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick take a knee during the national anthem in their preseason game.
According to NFL.com, in Oakland, the Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane sat on the bench during the playing of the anthem. Kaepernick told NFL Network’s Steve Wyche on Saturday that he was sitting during the anthem in protest of societal wrongdoings against African-Americans and minorities in the United States, and also to raise awareness to the police injustices many minorities face in this country.
These big time athletes have made an impact on the younger generations. This trend has made its way to a neighboring school: UMass Dartmouth.
South Coast Today states Raziel Pena-Vargas, Michael Slaughter Jr. and others on the UMass Dartmouth football team believe taking a knee is standing up for what they believe in.
“I would like for our government or police forces to find a solution to stop shooting unarmed black men,” Pena-Vargas said.
“We have to find a solution because this is becoming an epidemic in this country. We need to be better as people.”
Sophomore Jesse Guerra has been playing sports all of his life. He said that he isn’t the strongest believer of this protest. “With the stats that I’ve read up on, the media blows that stuff up to promote Hillary and demote Trump,” Guerra said.
He continued, “Honestly racism still exists, I totally agree, but you can’t say that when those of the African American decent are in the police force and sometimes commit these shootings.
It is incredible of those players to stand up like that and not be as disrespectful as Colin Kaepernick was when he literally sat for the anthem.
It is an ongoing issue and hasn’t been fully enforced to police officers to take action and try to prevent such actions.”
First-year Jay Fritz said he understands why the athletes take a knee. “…I get why the players are doing it, but I think it’s just starting to get ridiculous.
The professional athletes are making millions of dollars to play a game they love, but they are still being disrespected They are leaders to a lot of kids and shouldn’t be doing this.
I really do like the saying ‘all lives matter,’ and I think that’s what they should all stand for and the fact that everyone has equal freedom in this country.”
Fritz isn’t sure if this trend will hit Keene State College and the athletic department.
Fritz said, “Honestly, I’m not a hundred percent sure because I don’t know a lot of athletes here, but I would like to say no, but a couple of my best friends back home are black and they can be very vocal about this subject and support it.
I know there is racism in this country, most especially down south, and I wish there wasn’t. But even if everyone does this, unfortunately people are going to think what they are going to think no matter what.”
Senior KSC student Kevin Rogers doesn’t believe in taking a knee.
“I understand the desire for change in the country given current circumstances in regards to use of force and the racial dynamic that is at play in some of these cases; however, I feel that the disrespect of the flag and the nation demonstrated by not standing for the National Anthem is inappropriate,” Rogers said.
He continued, “To me, that is not simply disrespecting the flag, but those who have given their lives for their country, their state, their towns and their people, whether they be military, police, EMS or firefighters.
To me, the flag and decorum involved with it such as the Pledge of Allegiance and national anthem are things to be respected not for political matters, but for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that one may enjoy the rights and liberties that they do here in this country.”
Rogers talked a lot about the matter of respect.
“In order to receive respect, you must first show it and by conscientiously disrespecting the flag and the National Anthem, to me, it only makes that individual look bad and as a result, de-legitimizes their argument.
I don’t care what color, creed, religion or background you have; if you are to live and prosper in a country, you must show respect for it,” Rogers said.
Shelby Iava can be contacted at Siava@kscequinox.com