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The Centurion

NFL Tackles Trump

Dave Kuebler

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On August 26, 2016, the San Francisco 49ers squared off against the San Diego Chargers in their third preseason game, when 49ers Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, started a national firestorm by remaining seated for the national anthem.

What started out as a protest by Kaepernick against police brutality and racial inequality, would quickly turn into a different conversation.

This issue would only grow in popularity the following week, when Kaepernick would kneel once again to protest beside his teammates during the 49ers final preseason game.

Gary Lawery, 19-year-old Business Major at Bucks, was vivid in expressing his beliefs on the issue at hand by saying, “The problem is, people aren’t looking at the bigger picture because black people in America have been marginalized, and not listening to us when we say ‘hands up’, and not listening to the root cause of us taking a knee.” He continued on to say, “There is a difference between Equality and Equity.”

Donald Trump, President of the United States, shocked the population during a campaign rally in rural Alabama after making direct comments regarding his feelings about the NFL protests by saying, “Wouldn’t you love to see these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired!’”

President Trump even jumped on Twitter to express his disgust by saying, “This issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race.” He went on by saying, “It is about respect for our country, flag, and national anthem, the NFL must respect this.”

Outrage grew from not only players and owners of the NFL, but other athletes, performers and members of the media as well.

Players believed that being in the position of the President, he or she is supposed to stand up for American values such as encouraging tolerance, as well as the freedom of expression.

San Francisco 49ers Safety Eric Reid, would be the first teammate to kneel with his quarterback.

Reid expressed his reasoning for taking a knee in a New York Times column published on Monday by saying, “We know that racism and white privilege are both very much alive today.”

Reid continued by explaining, “And it’s disheartening and infuriating that President Trump has referred to us with slurs but the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, as ‘very fine people.’  Reid continued his expressions by arguing, “His remarks are a clear attempt to deepen the rift that we’ve tried so hard to mend.”

Brett Belmont, 19-year-old Business Major at Bucks, says “It seems like the wrong setting.” He explained by saying, “When protesting this way, it makes it seem as if they are protesting the flag.”

Chris Strohmeyer, a 20-year-old Bucks student says, “There are a lot of people out there risking their lives for this country, and to protest during the national anthem is just disrespectful to them.”

Alexa Hanna, an 18-year-old Liberal Arts Major at Bucks, also stated her opinion. “How else are African American’s with their platform supposed to protest peacefully?”  She added on by saying, “Meanwhile, Neo-Nazis are free to roam the streets and protest at will.”

Hassan Elzeery, 19-year-old Business student at Bucks, commented on just that by explaining, “It is an uncomfortable topic for some people.” She went on by saying, “People shy away from it because they don’t want to stand on either side of it.”

Most NFL teams responded to the President’s comments by linking arms and displaying unity with team general managers, as well as team owners showing the significance of the right to protest on such a prominent stage.

 

 

 

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NFL Tackles Trump