The Kaepernick Knee
The Kaepernick knee is a perfect example of the ongoing revolt against injustice in America today. During the national anthem at a 49ers football game, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, did the unthinkable and knelt down at the sidelines in lieu of standing with the customary hand on heart. This was a never before seen type of protest. His first day of protest was on August 14, 2016. It went unnoticed at first, then two games later it was caught in an unrelated picture in which Kaepernick was seen sitting down during the anthem. This caused a bout social disarray to our flabbergasted nation.
As it turned out the cause for this act was also surprising. Keapernick explained himself an interview with NFL’s Steve Wyche saying, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” He was referring to rising number of people who are unjustly killed or harmed before their assailants get acquitted from any form of punishment. He wishes to stop the violence that targets specific racial groups. He wants peace. This unexpected radical stance took the world by storm, as it aroused the emotions of the victims of prejudice and the people who care for them.
Today thousands of people are now swayed by this revolutionary form of peaceful protest against the injustices to minorities in our country. Many other brave athletes have joined in on the cause by, taking a knee, raising a fist, or simply sitting during the anthem. This protest is not only taken on by those directly affected by the issue, but also anyone who can sympathise with the feelings they have. Athletes of many, sports, races, and mentalities have raised a hand or dropped a knee to express their desire for the fulfillment of equality among all people. Yet some take a different interpretation to this gesture.
Many people also see these acts as an attack against our flag and our veterans. This is because the flag not only represents our country, but also what the troops fight for. Though it is blatantly obvious that it’s intentions were not to tarnish the reputations of our troops, who put their lives on the line for our freedom, but rather to raise alarm to an issue that affects a large percentage of the country. It was done to simply to question the flawed value system we have. It is not to serve as an attack against a the military or anyone else, but rather to serve as a symbol that the fight for racial equality is far from done. This is in fact considered something that the troops fight for as well, so how is fighting for something they also fight for disrespect. Isn’t it just a peaceful use of power to help our own country commit to the rights that it claims to give to all its people?
This protest is an exercise in our practice in rights and is not against patriotism. We are a country built for the citizens to cater to the needs of the citizens. Therefore, fighting for citizen, no matter what their background is, is the most patriotic thing a person can do. Colin Keapernick used his platform and status to do just that. Fight.