Football players take a stand by taking a knee

Connor George, Opinion Editor

The National Football League has been known as classic American pastime, but the season’s start brought a new image for the game. Before every game the national anthem is played. Fans and players usually follow procedure by standing and listening to the National Anthem with a hand over their heart.

However, some players use this time as a demonstration to prove a point. Players on every football team have started kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial inequalities in the United States.

Players of all races kneel to give voice to the people that may not have one. This has become quite controversial throughout the league and even caught the attention of the president.

People who object to kneeling argue that it is disrespectful to the people who served or are serving in the military. The players kneeling have said that they have the utmost respect for the people that protect our country, and it is not supposed to disrespect them in any way.

In MCAL sports the national anthem is only played for a few sports. According to Nate Severin there is no rhyme or reason as to why, but it is only played before basketball, football, playoff baseball and playoff soccer.

Some of the members of the school’s football team developed a strong opinion about the topic.

“I think they should definitely be allowed to do whatever they want. I think it’s important for these guys to express their opinions on the country that they live in, and the fact that you see the president trying to punish these players is an issue. As someone who plays the same game as them, I understand where they are coming from. I do not respect some of the decisions being made from some of the people in the front offices of these organizations.” Quarterback Daniel Forrest said.

His opinion seems to be shared by many of his teammates including wide receiver Sage Kleiman.

“I’d say when someone believes the United States is not living up to its status of freedom, liberty and justice for all it makes the case appropriate, but everyone has a different opinion. I stand to show respect to our soldiers that risk their lives fighting for us,” Kleiman said.

Severin had a similar opinion but had different reasons why.

“Why do we even play the national anthem before sporting events? It’s like when we used to say the pledge of allegiance before school. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but I feel like its freedom of expression, and they should be allowed to do it,” Severin said.

President Donald Trump had quite a different opinion on the matter. According to one of his infamous tweets, “The NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem. Total disrespect of our great country!”

While everyone has differing opinions, the players will continue to make a stand for what they believe in and to give voice to those who don’t have one.