Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, started the kneeling movement in 2016 to protest racial injustice in America. Recently, instead of standing, a handful of the National Football League (NFL) players knelt down during national anthem to protest several issues in the country. The major aim of the protest was the racial injustice in the country. Recently, a policeman was caught on camera saying that they only shoot black people.
U.S. national anthem protests have a long history. Protests have been carried out in the past due to different reasons such as civil rights, anti-conscription, racism, etc.
While the protest opponents believe that the protest is unpatriotic and disrespectful of the U.S. flag, others who support the protest believe it is meaningful because it was aimed at drawing attention to police brutality as well as the oppression of blacks or racial injustice in the country. According to Bailey – “when we raise our right hand and say we will support and defend the Constitution of this country, part of that is the freedom of speech, whether we agree with what people are protesting or not. Being allowed to express opinions freely is what makes our country great.”
President Donald Trump has suggested that NFL owners fire players who kneel for the national anthem. Trump tweeted that “The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations. The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can’t kneel during our National Anthem!”
In the past, others celebrities have spoken out against the killings of blacks by the police. Beyonce asked the police to “stop killing us“.
Michael Jordan has also spoken out against racial unrest in the United States of America.