On Aug. 26, 2016, Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, started a movement that has continued to grow a year later.
Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem of a preseason game. Many have found this to be offensive and disrespectful to our country while others have agreed with Kaepernick’s actions. Because Kaepernick stood up against unjust treatment of minorities, he lost his job and hasn’t been employed since.
This season in the NFL, teams and players have continued to show their support of Kapernick as they did last season. Several players have decided to either kneel or raise a fist during the anthem as a sign of protest against oppression. This season, entire teams have joined in on what has become a league-wide protest against oppression of people with color.
One of the main reasons for this protest was police brutality. Police officers have been guilty numerous times for killing unarmed and innocent black men while suffering no consequence as a result. The concern on the topic has only continued to grow the past year.
In 2016, U.S. Police killed 258 black people. Of those, 39 were unarmed. While 34 percent of unarmed people killed are black, just 6 percent of black men make up our country’s population.
Former United States President Barack Obama defended Kaepernick saying that people need to think about the pain suffered by those who lost someone who was unfairly shot.
On March 1, 2017, Kaepernick was released by the 49ers. Many would go on to say that this was due to Kaepernick’s poor play, and that he didn’t deserve the job. What others have found to be true is that many quarterbacks have been signed to teams since that do not have nearly as good of a resume.
People seem to forget that Kaepernick stepped in for injured quarterback Alex Smith and took the 49ers to the Superbowl back in 2012, and that he isn’t the only blame for the 49ers having consecutive losing seasons.
On April 20, 2017, Time Magazine released its “100 Most Influential People in the World” and Kaepernick was on it. With no job, it was clear his fame was because of his protests for equality.
Early into the season, President Donald Trump said that any player who protests during the anthem by kneeling is disrespecting the flag and needs to be fired. He also called players that do this an explicative. An estimated 204 players knelt the following Sunday, according to the Associated Press. Several teams decided to kneel with their arms locked in protest.
Trump has tried to convince people to boycott NFL games and has tweeted out many times in attacks against the NFL.
Trump has ignited anger throughout athletes all over the country as they are continuing to protest despite Trump’s threats. Athletes are using their platform to speak out against issues in society.
Several athletes, such as basketball stars Stephen Curry and LeBron James, have spoken out against Trump since his attack against the NFL and have spoken on issues with Trump’s presidency.
As athletes, owners, coaches, and fans have voiced their disapproval of Trump, more light continues to shine through on the kind of leader Trump is for our nation. Trump’s concern with the NFL reiterates his lack of concern for several important issues around the world as he neglects to focus on issues much bigger than men protesting for equality.