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Trenton Martin

Professor Moore

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11 October 2017

Impact of National Anthem Protest

National Anthem protest in the United States has hit an all time high for athletes and

ordinary citizens. Some football players decide to kneel during the nations anthem to tell the

public that they are trying to make people aware about the social injustices and racial tensions

that occur in this country. There is controversy whether to let the players protest or to punish

those who do. Many fans who say they are disrespecting the flag are boycotting the league until

the league does something. NFL ratings have plummeted since these protest started. Colin

Kaepernick who was the Quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers last year was the first to kneel

in a preseason game that led to more players kneeling impacting the game and American society.

Many sports leagues including the NBA, NFL, and MLB are affected by Anthem protest in many

ways such as ticket sales, fan support, and sponsorships.

After Kaepernick knelt for the first time, dozens of networks started buzzing about his

actions. There were both positive and negative reactions. He was atop of all story lines before

the 2016 NFL season. Fans responded to his protest by using his jersey as doormats at bars and

even burning his jersey showing they were not in favor of his protest actions. While Kaepernick

played well, he was later released by the 49ers shortly after the season. Many players during his

last season and players currently playing have joined Kaepernick's protest. They too are booed

by fans just like he was. Now he is asking for another shot in the NFL by attending owners and

players meetings. Owners yet are hesitant and do not want to risk negative publicity by their fan
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base which could affect ticket sales or their ratings. That's not a conspiracy. That's just NFL owners

looking out for their business Jay Caruso states on why Kaepernick is unsigned. Fans have already boycotted

the NFL for anthem protest and will not stop unless rules are in place. Rick Dande puts in his

article, When Kaepernick and others kneeled they are calling attention to social inequalities, Faraguna said, "and

they have every right to express their opinions."

The NFL is not the only sport having to deal with anthem protesters. Major League

Baseball rookie Bruce Maxwell who plays for the Oakland As was the first MLB player to

kneel after President Trumps comments stating anyone that kneels should be fired. Joey Hayden

mentions in his article He has knelt before every A's game since. The National Basketball Association

(NBA) did not see any protesters last year, but that could all change this year. Many teams are in

conversation on how they will handle our nations anthem. Many say they may stand together

with linked arms to show unity. Teams expected to kneel are the Golden State Warriors and

Cleveland Cavaliers whose players from both teams took jabs at President Trump on twitter after

he uninvited the Warriors from a White House visit after their championship win. Steph Curry

and Lebron James were the two main players from each of the teams going at him on social

media. The NFL, MLB, and the NBA are the only sports thus far to have protesters.

On the other hand many believe that these anthem protest are good for America and

really are making the people aware of all the social injustices and racism in this country. Some

ESPN and NFL Network analyst called Kaepernick a hero for having the guts to take a knee

knowing he would be ridiculed for it. Cam Newton, Quarterback for the Carolina Panthers stated

He is a hero, and should definitely be signed by a team after being asked by the media if

Kaepernick should be signed or not. Most NFL owners are in favor of their players kneeling

stating that its their constitutional right and is a peaceful protest. Jerry Jones, the owner of the

Dallas Cowboys, sent a clear message out to his players stating that if anyone were to kneel, he
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would have them benched for a game and possibly cut no matter who they were. Other owners

such as Jaguars owner Shahid Khan who is an immigrant himself actually took a knee with his

team for the first time in London when the anthem was played. The Pittsburgh Steelers stayed

inside their locker room before a game during the anthem which was a new way to protest.

Omari Sankofa II mentioned in his article many of whom responded by posting videos of burning Steelers

attire on social media.

Its a tradition in our country for citizens and sports fans to stand while the National

Anthem is played at sporting events. In 2016, Colin Kaepernick was the first player to kneel

sparking a movement among athletes. Those in favor of the movement want attitudes to change

and want to see an end to social injustice. They do not mind using the anthem to bring attention

to their plight. Those not in favor do not want the anthem used for protesting. Not the time Nor

the place some say to the NFL. The protest display during the National Anthem remains a topic

of discussion and continues to be controversial today. Only time will tell if it was an effective


Works Cited

Caruso, Jay OPINION: There is more to Colin Kaepernick Remaining unsigned than his

Kneeling during the National Anthem. Dallas Morning News, The (TX) , 24 AUG
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.2017 Newspaper source, EBSCOhost (accessed October 29, 2017).

Dandes, Rick. Valley weighs in on NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem. Daily

Item, The (Sunbury, PA), September 27, 2017 ., Newspaper Source, EBSCOhost

(accessed October 28, 2017).

Hayden, Joey. BRIEF: Oakland Catcher Bruce Maxwell Kneels in Bullpen during National

Anthem Before Game Vs. Rangers. Dallas Morning News, the (TX), 29 Sept. 2017

EBSCOhost, direct=true&db=nfh&AN=2W6123

1244962&site=ehost-live. (accessed Sept 29 2017)

Sankofa II, Omari. Steelers Fans Burn Apparel After Decision to Skip National Anthem.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA), 25 Sept. 2017. EBSCOhost,

Login.aspx? direct=true&db=nfh&AN=2W64071995084&site=ehost-live. (accessed

October 29, 2017).