By Krys Manchette
Francis Scott Key wrote the national anthem inspired by the sight of the American flag flying over Fort McHenry, when the Americans won that difficult battle in an impressive show of patriotism. Throughout the next 200 years it has become more than just a song — it has become a symbol of America’s freedom.
Outrage over the national anthem has been on the rise for the past few months, as a debate arose about whether or not the anthem was racist. The first stage of the movement protesting against the anthem was made by San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. He claimed that he was not going to stand up for a flag representing a nation that doesn’t deserve the show of respect. He believes that America oppresses black people and people of color, and chose the athletic stage to demonstrate his displeasure.
The recent spark of controversy is causing a large impact amongst high school athletes. During many High School football games, several players have chosen to kneel during the anthem in support of Kaepernick’s position. However, this is not true of our Rebels. Not one player on the Rebel team sits for the anthem, all sharing the respect to freedom and those who fight for it, and choosing to stand in recognition of that (as well as the equality of all Americans.)
Recent comments by Rebels around the school include, “Why would he kneel at such a large event?” “Why doesn’t he take action and actually do things for the community instead of play victim when he is a millionaire?” and, “He isn’t the one that’s suffering, so why is he making such a huge deal? There isn’t even any inequality between races.”
Protesting the national anthem to support racial inequality is causing an uproar in sports, both on the professional league and high school scale. Many question the reasons why it is done on a public stage in front of millions of people, to prove a point that might not be valid. However, because of the rights that flag and our country represent, they have every right to protest as they see fit.
“Colin Kaepernick” By Mike Morbeck [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr