Kaepernick Protest: Reaction at Northwood

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Colin Kaepernick kneels in protest during the singing of the National Anthem as a San Francisco 49ers game. (Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

By contributing writer Drew Goldberg ’17

Throughout the past couple weeks, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has created a great deal of controversy by kneeling during the national anthem in protest of what he claims is oppression against African Americans in the United States. “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media.

Ever since this protest has started, many more professional athletes have joined his cause. Other NFL players, such as Brandon Marshall, have refused to stand, and United States Women’s National Team soccer midfielder, Megan Rapinoe, has followed the trend. This controversy has expanded even more as numerous middle school football and basketball coaches and players have joined Kaepernick’s movement.

Many coaches around the professional sports world have shared their own thoughts regarding this topic. While some support Kaepernick’s right to kneel during the national anthem, others complain that it becomes a distraction to the team and is disrespectful to those who serve in the military.

Several Northwood teachers and coaches shared their opinions regarding the controversy. English teacher Mr. Steve Reed supports Kaepernick’s actions stating, “The point of protest is to make those in power uncomfortable. Colin Kaepernick has done that. His protest honors those who gave their lives that he might speak his sense of truth.” Others disagree with the way in which Kaepernick protests. “I fully support Colin Kaepernick speaking out about oppression against minorities. I wish that he did not do this by being disrespectful to our National Anthem and the country that affords him the opportunity to have freedom of speech,” said Mr. Chadd Cassidy, Head Coach of the Junior hockey team. While most support Kaepernick’s intentions, many don’t agree with the way in which he protests.

Since Kaepernick’s first protest in late August, more and more athletes — from the professional to high school level — have joined the movement. Whether or not one agrees with Colin Kaepernick, he has been successful in bringing awareness towards the treatment of minorities in the United States.

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