Colin Kaepernick’s Protest: An Editorial


Victoria Adusei, Writer

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On September 1st, 2016, Colin Kaepernick, a football player for the NFL team the San Francisco 49ers, knelt during the national anthem in protest of police brutality and racial oppression in the Black community. Kaepernick was then featured in an advertisement for Nike’s 30th anniversary of its Just Do It campaign which aired on September 6th, 2018. This advertisement caused a lot of controversy among Nike consumers of all ages.

I agree with Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem and his reasons behind it. Although it can be seen as unpatriotic and disrespectful to the troops fighting for our country, I still feel that institutionalized racism and police brutality are problems that need to be addressed. In my opinion, both of these issues serve as a contradiction of what America stands for— justice and equality. If you look at the last line of the first stanza of the national anthem, it calls America “the land of the free.” However, American history shows that these freedoms have not been available to people of color. Black people being killed just for being black has been a repeated pattern throughout history, and it can be seen with the killing of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, and even going as far back as Emmett Till. Black people have been protesting racist agendas and asking for change for so long that it feels as though history is constantly repeating itself.

Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem inspired me to protest the pledge of allegiance as well. One day I started to pay more attention to the struggles Black people face in this country, and I realized that liberty and justice are only for some, not for all as it states in the pledge. You can see this in the trial of George Stinney, the arrest of Sandra Bland, and so many more. I feel as though Colin’s protest has raised a lot of awareness of the struggles in the Black community, and I hope this leads to justice and liberty being available to all American citizens regardless of skin color.