Sitting during the national anthem

I find it frustrating that we as educated people contradict ourselves time and time again. We expect people in the spotlight to use their stardom for the right things. We expect them to stand up for causes that are meaningful. Why is it that when celebrities stand for something we are so quick to scold them? In the midst of all the police brutality in America and across the world, we want to make a scene about an athlete choosing to sit during a national anthem? Really? I’m baffled.

Colin Kaepernick is the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. He is also the ballsy athlete that chose to sit during the playing of the American national anthem. As you can imagine, Kaepernick has attracted all kinds of controversy from Americans because of his actions. For those of you who do not know why Kaepernick chose to sit, let me fill you in. If you pay even the slightest attention to the news, then you are aware of the merciless killings of African-Americans committed by the police. I can name dozens of African-Americans that have been brutally murdered by the so called ‘good guys.’ Kaepernick is an African-American who has chosen to take a stand by sitting while the national anthem was playing, according to the NFL. There has been a heavy amount of media coverage around this incident, along with thousands of racist comments made about Kaepernick across the internet.

The issue I don’t understand is how Americans have an issue with someone taking a stand for something that is obviously an issue. African-Americans are being murdered by the police. Their lives are being treated like those of wild animals. There are videos of black men being harmed and killed by the police on YouTube for petty reasons. Oh but that doesn’t matter, does it? What matters is an athlete not standing for the national anthem of a country that was built on racism. This is wrong in so many ways. We love to point fingers at people for not using their platforms for good, but continue to point our fingers when they do. Racism in America has been an issue for generations and it is still happening right in front of our eyes. Instead of joining Kaepernick in the fight for justice, Americans would rather judge him and expect him to be a puppet. I do not understand this at all.

This type of injustice will continue to rear its ugly head unless we take a stand. People love to pretend that racism doesn’t exist when things like this are all over the news. How oblivious can people continue to be? I believe that Kaepernick is doing the right thing and is a good example of someone that stands for a worthy cause. I’m also happy that other athletes are taking a stand as a result. Megan Rapinoe, an American soccer player for Seattle Reign FC, kneeled during the national anthem according to ESPN. Rapinoe kneeled because she felt her rights as a gay woman were not protected. More athletes and celebrities must continue to take a stand, and show the world that injustice has no place here.

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