For weeks now, you’ve likely been hearing about the tension between Trump and several American football teams due to their “disrespect” for the national anthem. But what our president finds to be contemptuous, others find heroic. Here’s everything you need to know about taking a knee:
This whole protest started on Aug. 14, 2016, when Colin Kaepernick first took a stand (no pun intended) and decided to stay seated during the national anthem. It wasn’t until about a month later that he created his iconic pose of taking a knee. He later said he chose this position because he felt it showed more respect for military veterans while still making his point.
So what is his point? Well, Kaepernick is a strong supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. He says, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
Of course, our president has very strong opinions about this calling it “total disrespect” and “divisive.” He has even suggested that any players who kneel during the anthem should be fired from the NFL.
Vice President Mike Pence actually walked out of the Indianapolis Colts’ game on October 8 because, “While everyone is entitled to their own opinions, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL player to respect the flag and our National Anthem.” He later tweeted, “I stand with @POTUS Trump, I stand with our soldiers, and I will always stand for our flag and National Anthem.”
So far, no action has been taken against the players. In fact, many coaches and athletes from other sports have begun kneeling as well.
When it comes to the public’s opinion on this matter, 46% of people said protesting during the national anthem is disrespectful, while 45% said it demonstrates the freedoms of our nation.
It’s still unclear whether the president will succeed in his attempts to ban these protests.