By David Villegas, Contributing Reporter
As fall approaches, the National Football League’s regular season begins as well. And though it is early on in the season, a major controversy has arisen and taken the sports world by storm. Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, decided not to stand for the national anthem during a preseason game. He cited this move as a protest of nationwide police brutality and mistreatment of people of color.
In AJ Willingham’s article at CNN.com, “Slavery and the national anthem: The surprising history behind Colin Kaepernick’s protest,” she explains how the famed Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers was the first athlete to protest the Star Spangled Banner.
In the article, Ms. Willingham shows us that even though we only use the first verse of the Star-Spangled Banner at national events, the third verse has a reference to slavery.
This demonstrates that history is often forgotten as time and generations of people pass by. The way history is taught in American elementary and high schools should also be taken into account, as it often focuses on the most positive spin on tricky issues in American history.
This goes into how the main critics against Kaepernick’s protest prefer to be obedient rather than challenging authority.
Nevertheless, this is another case of how white privilege is being used to silence Kaepernick’s actions. In Solomon Jones’ article for Philly.com, “Kaepernick, Lochte cases are as different as black and white,”he argues that Ryan Lochte lying about being robbed in Rio during the 2016 Olympics has gotten less media coverage and criticism for his actions, despite the fact that they are both athletes.
Many sports fans feel that athletes should just concentrate on playing their sport, but once they cross a line in self expression, then a wave of non-stop criticism is lashed out on them.