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97 Years of Standing

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Photo courtesy of The Daily Northwestern

Photo courtesy of The Daily Northwestern

Photo courtesy of The Daily Northwestern

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As a player takes a knee on the football field, some stand in shock and some quietly give the player thanks. This is not only happening on NFL football fields but high schools across the country. Taking a knee during the national anthem is gathering such attention even the president is saying something about it.      

“A big salute to Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, who will BENCH players who disrespect our flag. Stand for anthem or sit for game!” said President Donald Trump  

This country was founded on the ideas that one should be able to protest peacefully, belief in who they want, the right of the press, and to speak their mind freely. Every person has a right to freedom of speech and the right to protest peacefully.

The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”  

If a football player believes that taking a knee on the football field is the right way to protest his ideas, then he should do that. There is nothing saying he can’t, there is nothing saying that he should remain standing. People should see this protest as a way of people being apart of this country. It shows them that we have the right to stand or sit during the national anthem because of the first amendment was written in 1776.

Taking a knee on the field is a way of protest. To most coaches and parents this is a sign of disrespect or gratitude. Parents across the country have shown their concern or frustration. Eugenia McDowell, a woman from Wesley Chapel, Florida received an email from the school saying her six-year-old son had gone down on a knee during a football game.

“What he did was have a difference of opinion. He was not being disrespectful. He was silently protesting and exercising his constitutional right,” said Mcdowell, mother of three sons. 

Taking a knee is also to some parents a sign of disrespect to our country and national anthem. The Superintendent, Scott Smith, at a school in Louisiana had told their players would be kicked off the team if they took a knee during the national anthem.

“It is a choice for students to participate in extracurricular activities, not a right, and we at Bossier Schools feel strongly that our teams and organizations should stand in unity to honor our nation’s military and veterans,” Smith said.

High schools and the NFL can fire players for kneeling during the national anthem. The players sign up to follow rules such as being on time for practice, showing up in gear, and being on time for games. Some coaches believe the rule of not kneeling on the field during the national anthem is just as important as any other rule.

This problem will not go away from every national team, high school team, or elementary team. It will not end with Mcdowell’s son or Bossier School district. This is a problem or concern for everyone. As some watch these football players, they remember that this is the United States, no matter if they stand or sit.

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