By Adrianna Cole
There has been, yet again, another controversy within the sports industry, but don’t worry, it’s not about domestic abuse or dog fighting.
It’s something much worse: exercising their first amendment right.
As protest for the social injustice faced in this country, pro athletes have taken upon themselves to kneel (or sit) during the National Anthem. Some have even gone so far to raise their fist in the air, a nod to the Black Panthers group.
These acts have caused some fines to be given or refusal to escort the athletes.
Look, it’s understandable why some of the public is upset. There is no argument that people died for this country, and people are still doing the same thing today.
Not standing up could be taken as a sign of disrespect for our servicemen and women. It could go against the whole purpose of forming this union, but the same thing could be said about forcing players to stand up.
Despite any individual’s opinion, the fact is that under our constitution, we, essentially, have the freedom to sit or stand during the National Anthem.
That freedom, along with many others, was bought with blood, and the fact that this whole “controversy” even exists makes it feel like it went to waste.
This whole situation was started by Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback. During the preseason games, a few noticed that Kaepernick was sitting on the bench while the National Anthem played.
While some, myself included, figured he was practicing for his performance during the game, others believed there was another reason.
In an interview he stated, “When there’s significant change and I feel like that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
Well, Colin, it looks like you’re going to have to sit for the rest of your life because that flag represents working for your freedom, not sitting for it.
Okay, I don’t mean to sound this harsh, but the biggest issue with this statement is making it sound like the change this country should endure does not start with the individual.
Yes, social injustice does exist in this nation, but what are we going to do about it?
Sitting or kneeling during “The Star Spangled Banner” does not magically cause inequality to go away nor does it stop prejudice. It seems to make it worse, actually.
This should, instead, be taken as a call to action, but it also should attempt to prevent violence such as the protests this last week in Charlotte.
Honestly, this isn’t the 1960s. We know there is a racial divide in this country, and if you didn’t know that, read something other than the sports section.
In all seriousness, the debate on whether or not it’s right for Americans to not stand for the National Anthem stems from a much bigger issue.
This controversy should not be about black or white, but instead, it should be about all of us coming together as one.
We should want to make a difference within our communities to fix the injustices we face, not sit and complain about them.