Fans Want To #BoycottNFL, But Players Have Done Worse Than Kneel [OPINION]
First, Colin Kaepernick enraged Americans with his stand against the national anthem-- or, I guess more accurately, his sit. Kaepernick refused to rise to the occasion and stayed seated for several consecutive games while the national anthem played before the games began.
Then, within our own Colorado team, Broncos player Brandon Marshall knelt during the national anthem during the Bronco's season opener on Thursday, September 8th, losing not only endorsements but respect from loyal fans. Along with that, members of several other NFL teams stood or knelt together to protest the national anthem this weekend and to raise further awareness for the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Many NFL spectators have seen these actions as disrespectful to the military, acknowledging that it fulfills the players' right to free speech but displays a lack of appreciation to those who laid down their lives for their country. That's when this hashtag came out:
Several members of the military came out supporting Kaepernick, reminding everyone that they fought for their right to peacefully protest in whatever way they deem suitable.
I find it hard to say that I disagree with these players' actions. As a white woman, I do not feel the oppression, racism, and violence that the black community feels on a daily basis, so I can't say that what they're feeling is unjustified or nonexistent. I love the U.S.A. and appreciate our veterans more than you can imagine, but these players aren't using violence, they aren't interrupting the game, and they aren't burning the flag-- they're exercising their rights. On top of that, using a celebrity platform to incite change is, in my opinion, the most important use of fame, and I applaud these players for doing so even if many around me don't appreciate the way they're sending their message.
However, as important as it is to stand up-- or sit down-- for what you believe in, are we overlooking other problems within the NFL? Sure, these are hard times, and not supporting a symbol of american freedom is a big deal and a hot topic. However, what about the players who are embroiled in domestic abuse cases? What about the players who attempted sexual assault? What about the intense racism that still exists without any movement for change in one team's name-- The Washington Redskins?