NFL Linbacker
Pat Tillman, Linbacker Arizona Cardinals

Colin Kaepernick, Quarterback for the San Francisco 49er’s, made headlines this past season when he decided he could not stand during the National Anthem before NFL games.  He cannot stand in a show of respect for a country he feels is systemically racist.

This article is to explain my opinion of Kaepernicks decision to take a knee during our National Anthem. It is not about his “right” to take a knee, if the NFL allows it, then he has every right to do it. It is not about whether or not there is systemic racism in American society. This is simply my opinion as too whether or not he should protest in this manner, and my reasoning for holding that opinion.

My opinion is that, No, Kaepernick should not take a knee when the National Anthem is played before an NFL game. The number one reason I feel this is inappropriate is that professional sports are a form of entertainment. Americans watch the NFL as a form of escape. Some people go to the movies, some go to concerts, these are just different ways people like to escape from the real world for a few hours and just enjoy themselves.

People pay quite a bit of money to take their family to an NFL game, or maybe they watch the game at home on tv, but tv is not exactly free anymore. So whether you agree with what Kaepernick is doing or not, people are actually paying money to see him play football not to hear his opinion on our culture.

Another reason I do not like this form of protest is because he is a representative of the NFL, and while he may not see his protest as disrespecting our country or our military, there are others in the NFL who might see things very differently.

Think of Patrick Tillman, he took a knee on an NFL field.

NFL Linbacker
Pat Tillman, Linbacker Arizona Cardinals

This is how I want to see NFL players taking a knee.  After the September 11 terrorist attacks, Tillman, gave up his career in the NFL to join the U.S. Army.

US Army Corporal Pat Tillman
Corporal Pat Tillman

Pat Tillman was killed in the mountains of Afghanistan in 2004 in what turned out to be a friendly fire incident.

So how does the family of Pat Tillman feel when they see Colin Kaepernick, take a knee during a moment meant to honor our flag, our country, and those who have fought and died for the above listed? Kaepernick is entitled to his opinion and he should use his position of fame to help bring positive change, but Kaepernick did not even bother to vote while people like Tillman made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Which brings me to my last reason. NFL players are role models to kids. Like it or not, kids look up to these players. Once they saw Kaepernick taking a knee, we saw many high school and youth league players taking a knee. Now a moment before a game which was meant to show respect and love for our country has turned into a moment when kids take a knee in protest, and they have no idea what they are protesting. Black kids with white teammates are being shown that there is division among them because of their race. That just adds to the racism problem.

Kaepernick to not help solve anything, he exacerbated an already troubling problem. Now it is trendy and cool to show disrespect.

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