BackTalk: NFL players kneeling creates noise

Silent protests from NFL players prove nothing

by TINA GONZALEZ / Editorial Assistant

During the past year or so, football players across America have taken it upon themselves to start a silent protest.

They have the right to disrespect the people who sacrificed their lives so that they have the opportunity to play the game that gives them income, publicity, and a life. By no means it is right for anyone in American to have their rights taken away, no matter the color of their skin.

However, it is in no way moral or logical to protest about the issue of racism and police brutality by deliberately disrespecting the country’s flag and anthem. It is a great country that we are able to live in. Many people years before gave their all to make this country as free as it is. It is sad that our country still has issues with racism, but there are better ways to make your statement than by being discourteous to the flag of the country that gives you the freedom to kneel.

President Donald Trump does not use words wisely and doesn’t say what he means in the right way. But he is right about saying how disgraceful these football players and owners are to ignore a song and flag that gives them freedom. In kneeling, you are also disrespecting the people who fight for our country. People who are fighting for our lives, for our freedom, do not deserve the rudeness and disrespect that the NFL players are giving.

Protest and fight for what you believe in. There is nothing wrong with that. But think of what and who you are blaming. It is not the flag’s fault or the people’s fault for the cruelty that happens in the streets, it is ours. It is the people among you that you should be protesting.

American is a home. It is a family. Just like with any other family and home, there is dysfunction. But the people, not the home itself, cause that. It is OK for high-profile players and celebrities to use their platforms to voice their opinion on current issues. But it is important that they voice their opinion the right way, by holding walks and conferences. High-profile people think more thoroughly about their actions because it has a major effect on their supporters. It is important that they do not disrespect the one thing and the people who make it acceptable for you to have freedom.

The NFL and other supporters of the kneeling protest are referring to a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. kneeling. But the difference between a great iconic man kneeling and selfish football players kneeling is that Martin Luther King Jr. was kneeling for prayer. The NFL players kneeling are disrespecting the flag and everything it stands for.

There is no right way to protest. There are always going to be people who don’t agree with how things are done. Thankfully, the NFL’s protest is peaceful. But the way the NFL is protesting is not the right way to protest for racism and police brutality. All it is doing is dishonoring the one thing and the people who make this the country way it is.

We want a “fair” society, though that may never be accomplished because there is always a group or a person who wants things different. But that is the beauty of this country. We get to express our own opinions.

It is OK to protest whatever your heart desires. But don’t disrespect the one thing that gives you the right to protest.

Kneeling football players have right to stand against injustice

by DOM PUENTE / Staff Writer

NFL players protesting the injustices that are going on in America against people of color by kneeling during the national anthem are causing an outrage throughout the country.

Those claiming these players are disrespecting their flag, national anthem, soldiers, and veterans who lost their lives are oblivious to the actual reasons for their protest. Countless people put up a front for defending what they believe to be is the perfect country, which everyone should be grateful for. But it’s not.

Throughout 2017, masses of enraged Americans of all colors and nationalities have marched down highways and streets, protesting injustices that continuously happen.

Our veterans have laid their lives on the line to allow us to have freedom of speech, to peacefully protest. These players are doing so while thousands of Americans believe this country is regressing.

No action has been taken to help correct the atrocities that have already taken place, or to prevent further injustices from taking place.

These NFL athletes are using their platform to send a message throughout America that this is not the greatest country right now. There is constant police brutality, senseless murders and racism that fill the streets of America, and the hundreds of thousands of Americans speaking about and protesting for changes are constantly being ignored because brainwashed America believes that it only happens in ghettos, or in crime-heavy cities and neighborhoods.

These people also believe that police officers are doing their jobs and keeping the streets safe. However, the streets are filled with protesters of all races who beg to differ when unarmed young adults, teens, and children are being gunned down in neighborhoods because an officer was “technically” in the right to do so. People with the ability and power to fix these situations are pushing these issues to the back burner.

Players kneeling during an anthem and not standing for the flag is because some believe that they are not being heard, and the minorities are being treated unfairly. They believe the country we live in now does not represent what the flag and anthem stand for. People are being ignored, and these players constantly being talked about negatively are speaking for the people who will not be listened to. These players are right for protesting what they believe in.

Former San Francisco 49’rs starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick began this form of peaceful protest and said, “I am not going to stand up and show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color…”

I believe the hundreds of thousands of Americans of various races who march and protest throughout various cities in the country feel the same way. Yet their opinions do not matter, or they are automatically being told they’re wrong.

We should not stand for a country that looks the other way when racism prevails and oppression continuous to hinder America. These are the reasons for NFL players taking a knee. It is not to be disrespectful to the fallen soldiers or the men and women fighting for our rights overseas. The players kneel to show they are against a country full of people who have the chance to make things right, yet believe this nation is perfect the way it is, though horrendous acts of racism and prejudice still take place.

The people that argue this form of protest being disrespectful are nonbelievers of the current social issues and only argue that simply kneeling disrespects our soldiers. These people also do not understand the reasons for NFL players protesting and the reason for players utilizing their platform.

No form of protest can make everyone happy. Protest is not meant to make people happy. These players are using their platform to bring social issues to the forefront of conversations, and it is working. Whether it enrages people or gives people a sense of urgency to continue to protest and let their voices be heard, the players are right when you understand the actual reasons and stop being blind.

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