By Ian Jackson
San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick first protested during the national anthem on Sept. 1 on the “Salute to Military Night” by kneeling to protest oppression and wrong doings against people who are minorities.
Kaepernick told NFL media after the game that his reasoning for not standing was because, “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 caught controversy these past few weeks, arguing his continued actions were disrespectful to American troops who fight for America’s freedom.
As weeks went by players joined Kaepernick in protest kneeling or raising their fist in the air while other players began voicing their disapproval in their actions. There is a divide in the majority of people who support or agree with Kaepernick’s actions.
“I do support Kaepernick because it is within his rights to protest and as athlete who is in the spotlight and has the power to bring awareness to important social issues,” said junior Chelsea Olsen, who is a midfielder for the Roosevelt women’s soccer team.
“I agree with him that it is his duty to express the way he feels. The systematic issues in this country need to be addressed,” Olson said.
Hope Katakis is a senior who plays as a defender for the Roosevelt women’s soccer team.
“I support it to a point, obviously something has to be done for the racial injustice but I don’t think that was the best thing to do because he is making it seem like the whole nation is against minorities and that’s not true,” said Katakis.
Other students said they agree with his actions.
“I support his protest because change is what needs to happen in the police system. In order to get people’s attention. Of course kneeling during the national anthem, as well as being a professional athlete, will give a platform to display that change is necessary,” Kayla Palmore, junior defensive specialist of the Roosevelt women’s volleyball team said, “I also believe that some people are oblivious to the police brutality issues that happen daily.
Kaepernick’s protest is his way of speaking for these people and showing the world that he is not going to honor a country that still struggles to see that oppression still exists.”
Athletes all over the world are noticing Kaepernick’s choices and some are raising their fists or kneeling in protest alongside or against him.