Taking a Knee

By Staff Writer Amari McCain
Colin Kaepernick is an American football player. He plays quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, and led them to an NFC championship in 2013. His play recently has declined, but he’s made another type of name for himself recently. He’s been kneeling during the national anthem, his reasoning being that he won’t stand for a country that “oppresses black people and people of color…”. This has caused major praise for him lately, but also major backlash. He’s received death threats, lost endorsements, and lost a lot of credibility from some of his fans. On a positive side, he’s started a huge discussion, he’s boosted his jersey sales and he’s brought light to one of America’s darker subjects: police brutality. img_0183
What Kaepernick is doing isn’t very popular amongst Woodstock students.When I asked WHS junior Hunter Ongeri what he thought of Kaepernick’s actions, he stated, “I don’t respect him because he isn’t showing respect for soldiers at war risking their lives”. I also asked freshman Mike Hegman if he agreed with Kaepernick’s motive, and he said, “No, because the army is fighting, risking their lives, and he can’t stand for 30 seconds to show respect to them”. Most of the disagreement at Woodstock is supporting our troops and Kaepernick isn’t showing his respect.
I initially agreed with most people. I didn’t think what Kaepernick was doing was smart, and I thought it was pointless. I thought nobody would care to change anything just because I was kneeling, but I’ve realized that he’s done a lot more than people give him credit for. He’s started a conversation, and a very important one. He has also provided a way to find out who really understands the magnitude of police brutality in the United States. If your neighbor is fussing about Kaepernick, and not about innocent civilians being gunned down in the streets by the police, do they know the real issue? Kaepernick is showing how bad of a position America is in by showing what provokes people, and illustrating that it’s the wrong things. America is reacting worse to someone taking a knee than than to police taking lives, and it’s a problem.
Kaepernick has gained support as his protest has moved along. Other athletes an political figures have brought light to the issue in their own way, and others have joined him in protest or voiced their support for him. He’s also gained positive attention and support nationwide with the recent killing of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His movement is gaining ground and people are finding it harder to disagree with Kaepernick, as he is making a difference.

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