Assembly Opinion: Kneeling During the National Anthem

What is your position on the NFL National Anthem debate and how does it relate to the Constitution?

Abbigail Banks

The position that I am taking on the NFL National Anthem debate is that kneeling during the National Anthem is not unpatriotic nor is it disrespectful to the flag or to those who defend it.

Colin Kaepernick is the NFL player who started this movement. When this movement started, it was Kaepernick’s way of peacefully protesting police brutality toward Black Americans.  When Kaepernick first started not standing for the National Anthem, no one notice or seemed to care that he sat on the bench. However, when Kaepernick decided to kneel during the National Anthem, people began to notice and started to talk about it.

Most of the comments about Kaepernick kneeling were that “it’s unpatriotic” and “it is disrespectful.” However, when Americans see a man kneeling to propose to his future wife, it is not considered disrespectful. But if the man does not kneel it is considered disrespectful. In addition, when Americans kneel to talk to God it is not seen as disrespectful but rather a sign of respect and reverence.

The way this debate ties into the Constitution is that the first amendment talks about the freedom of speech and peacefully protesting. The way the Kaepernick was protesting against police brutality is consider a peaceful protest.

Kaepernick was also invoking his right to freedom of speech by kneeling. Even though kneeling during the National Anthem is not necessarily speaking by using words, it is speaking by using actions. The actions that Kaepernick used abides by the Constitution and is consider a peaceful protest and he was invoking his freedom of speech.

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