NFL Players vs National Anthem: Unsportsmanlike Conduct


Photo taken from Pixabay

Taylor Kosiak and Gabby Gilhooley

There has been a lot of controversy this past month regarding professional football players kneeling for the National Anthem. This began last year when San Francisco Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, took a knee during the National Anthem.

“I’m protesting a country that opposes black people and people of color,” said Kaepernick

Since then, many players kneel and some stay in the locker room altogether. These statements have been controversial and have caused the NFL ratings to tank. It has also caused an uproar among fans of the NFL. Many have stopped watching altogether. The NFL even went so far as to stop airing the national anthem in an attempt to boost ratings.

Many of the people that support the players participating in this protest are claiming it is their right to protest. However, this is not a question of legal rights. I feel they definitely have a right to protest. Alternatively, it is disrespectful to not only the viewers, the flag, but also to those who have died serving our nation. Not to mention the fact that, it is actually illegal to bring the political discussion into the workplace. The football field is the workplace of these players. Therefore, this is a direct violation of the law. A flag requires a sturdy flagpole and you can learn more about it here.

These athletes are being paid millions of dollars to be there and play football. I think it is wrong to protest on someone else’s time. I would have no problem with these protests if the players were speaking out on their own time, but they are not. They are speaking out using the time of the league and all its viewers.

The players have the right to say whatever they want, however, they want. However, this is not the time, place or way to do it. It is disrespectful to the league, the fans and those who have served this country.

This year more and more NFL players refused to stand for the National Anthem and as we all know, President Trump took to Twitter.

“If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our flag and country, you will see change take place fast. Fire or suspend!” said President Trump.

Football players believe they are protesting against police brutality and injustices towards African Americans. How is kneeling helping? What are these players doing to make the situation better? There are several other ways the players can get their voice heard, without disrespecting the flag.

The flag represents freedom and all the men and women who put their life on the line for this country. The American Flag and anthem do not define race. There are plenty of Americans fighting for this country of diverse races and who have died for the flag.

Little boys and girls look up to these football players as role models and idolize them, copying their every move and not knowing why they are doing it. If they see their idol kneeling for the anthem they are going to do the same not knowing the reason.

The players can play football in this country because of the men and women who died for this flag. The least they can do is stand and appreciate the courage and heroism they had. Not only is it disrespectful to the veterans, but also to their families.

“I have taken a knee after jumping out of a helicopter as we looked for the enemy, take a knee in front of the soldiers cross as we mourned a fallen brother and taken a knee in church. Any player who has taken a knee to protest this great country during its anthem should already be gone” said wounded Afghanistan veteran, Brian Mast.

If all the players who kneel for the anthem and the people who sit for the pledge, go see all the veterans who lost their limbs or are injured, maybe their opinion on standing would change.

“It brought me to tears,” said retired Army Lieutenant, Brian Sullivan. “There’s enough divisiveness in our country, don’t bring it to football.”

We think it is great to voice your opinion but there is a time and place for everything.  We live in the greatest country, and we get to because of all the Veterans and Military. We don’t stand because our country is perfect. We stand because it isn’t perfect and it will take all of us united to fix our flaws.

If you ever see a veteran or military soldier, thank them and appreciate their sacrifice they did for this amazing country.