The Griffin

Taking a stand by sitting down?

Noah Wilkens, Staff Writer

As someone with red-hot American pride pumping through their veins, the national anthem brings goosebumps to my skin. Being able to live freely with guaranteed rights is awe-inspiring. The national anthem symbolizes individuality, freedom and relentlessness.

Not standing for the Star Spangled Banner is protected by your first amendment right. So is calling half of Donald Trump’s supporters a “basket of deplorables.” The overarching question is: just because it is legal, does that make it right? The simple answer is no. Unfortunately, the difference between right and wrong, even protected by law, is not black and white.

There are American soldiers living in hostile countries with barbaric extremists and corrupt governments who are risking their lives so that you and I can walk around safely in the greatest country on earth.

So thank you, Colin Kaepernick, for making the National Football League a medley of drama-fueled teenagers. The NFL is known for creatine-crushing, super human athletes and strong willed role models. Most of the players choosing to demonstrate are people of color. The basis of these players’ argument is racial injustice, police brutality and oppression. Personally, I find it ironic that these players are “taking a stand” by sitting down, kneeling or doing anything other than standing. These players are role models. Being highly influential individuals, they are teaching America’s youth that it is acceptable to blatantly disrespect the country.

The influence is spreading like a wildfire and becoming a warped and convoluted mess.
At school we have students refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance because players in the NFL refuse to stand for the national anthem. This is unacceptable. Not to mention, the refusal to respect and stand for the anthem is the refusal to identify as an American. Picking and choosing to be an American when it benefits one’s argument is cowardly.

The 21st century is here. Racism and discrimination have been eradicated under law. NFL players who choose to demonstrate, dislike certain aspects of America, but have yet to figure out what they want to do about it. I encourage these players to continue to search for a fitting and adequate solution. In the same breath, there is a time and place for everything. I do not turn on the TV or pay upwards of $200 to watch people share their political views. I turn on the TV and pay upwards of $200 to watch big plays and victorious games.

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