Kaepernick Protest of Anthem Sparks Trend

Meghan Koerick, Staff Reporter

Many athletes, both at the professional and lower levels, are now following in the footsteps of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick by taking a knee during the national anthem. Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest racial injustice in America, specifically the deaths of sometimes unarmed black men and boys at the hands of police.

According to CNN, Kaepernick has always been driven and a good guy. Critics have pointed out that Kaepernick’s hometown Turlock is more than 50% white, 40% Hispanic and 2% less African American, and that he was raised by white parents. On the other hand, Kaepernick is putting his money where his mouth is by donating the first million dollars of his salary to social justice groups.

The protests have now even gone to the high school levels like Garfield High School in Seattle, where the whole team, including the adult coaching staff, has been taking a knee. Despite some local backlash, the coach of the Garfield high football team says it was a collective decision according to BBC news.  

The protests are not only taking place in football. A volleyball team at West Virginia University Institute of Technology had three athletes taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem. According to CNN, Howard University cheerleaders are also protesting racial injustice. CNN says that the Kaepernick effect is taking place all around the nation.

Many people don’t agree with Kaepernick’s protest and think it is disrespectful to our country. In the Turlock community the ‘KC7’ or the Kaepernick Dog was taken off a local hot dog eatery menu. Other places in the community agree with his decision and thinks it’s his right as a citizen. A local pizza shop says Kaepernick’s jersey isn’t coming down.

Different opinions are shared about the idea of the protests being made. Some people believe that the protesters are disgracing the American flag and over all America.

According to a CBS poll more than half of the Americans disagree with Colin Kaepernick and the other athletes’ actions. Eighty percent of Americans think that the national anthem should be played before a sporting event and only eight say it shouldn’t.

The protesters think that by taking a knee during the national anthem they can begin a conversation about  racial inequality and end some of the violence taking place all around America. The protesters believe police brutality must come to an end around the nation and both professional athletes and high school athletes are trying to make difference.