Athletes Unite!

The phrase “history repeats itself” seems to become more and more relevant throughout time as we learn about past and current events and how a lot of the time, they seem to correlate with one another. This phrase is especially evident in the recent article by the Associate Press, “Raised-Fist Protesters Smith, Carlos Support Kaepernick,” which informs us of the controversies that come when athletes protest and how past Olympians, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who once raised their fist as symbolic protests during the Olympics are now supporting and arguing for Colin Kaepernick and his protest of kneeling during the National Anthem.

The Associated Press does a fine job of building their credibility and informing the audience of the recent controversies by quoting Smith and Carlos, using specific word choice to try and appeal to the audience’s emotions, and giving specific information and facts to make a logical appeal.

U.S Women’s National soccer player, Megan Rapinoe, joins Kaepernick’s protest by kneeling during the national anthem.


From the beginning of the article, the Associated Press relies on ethos by informing the audience that Tommie Smith and John Carlos were proud to raise their fist during the Olympics and are proud to see Colin Kaepernick and other athletes kneel during the national anthem “to raise awareness about racial inequality and police brutality” (The Associated Press).

This is an ethical appeal because the authors consistently state the two former sprinters opinions about protest and Kaepernick; mostly, Smith and Carlos are quoted stating positive ideas about protest toward inequality and racism. An example is when the Associated Press explains that the two American sprinters said that “the San Francisco 49er quarterback and others are right to use their platform in an attempt to affect social change after 48 years”.

Colin Kaepernick and teammate, Eric Reid, kneeling during the national anthem.

Throughout the article, the Associated Press writers emphasizes Smith’s and Carlos’ thoughts on how the sports platform is a great way to stand up for something, even though it’s a sacrifice due to the criticism. Their opinions throughout the article may influence people’s thoughts on Kaepernick’s protest and possibly change their minds or views on the matter.


This reliance on ethos occurs throughout the article. The Associated Press writers cite Smith’s and Carlos’ thoughts on the issue continually, making the argument more credible since the two past American sprinters, like Kaepernick, were criticized about their “human rights salute” during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Also, by explaining the background information on their past experience and giving facts about the two Olympians, The Associated Press writers make Smith and Carlos seem more believed and knowledgeable on the subject.

For instance, after the quote “Don’t hate the kid because he stood up for something to change” said by Smith, the author adds the fact that Smith won “the gold medal and set a world record in the 200 meters in 1968” (The Associated Press). This helps the audience understand that Smith was once too an athlete, so he knows how Kaepernick might feel about all the hatred he is receiving for his actions.

Tommie Smith and John Carlos raise their fist during at the 1968 Olympics as a form of racial protest.

The Associate Press continues to add quotes throughout the article not only about why Smith and Carlos support Kaepernick, but also why they think protest is a good thing.

Appeal to Pathos:

Through the use of specific word choice throughout the article, the Associated Press writers are able to convince the audience with emotional appeals. For instance, when referring to the first U.S Olympic committee that Smith and Carlos were invited to after their protest, the Associated Press specified that “It has taken almost half a century for the USOC to welcome Smith and Carlos back into the fold…”(The Associated Press). By specifying how long it has been since they were involved in the Olympic committee, this becomes an eye opener to the audience, which makes them feel at awe to know it has been that long and how unwelcomed they were because of what they did.

Also, in the quote by Carlos “By bringing attention to society…it is necessary that we take this thing called racism, violence, and prejudice and bury it once and for all” the words “bury it once and for all” will help the audience realize that racism, violence, and inequality are still happening and are the reason for these protests.

Other words throughout the article like “rebirth” and “hope” also bring an emotional appeal to the argument and persuade readers through the dramatic tone they set.

Appeal to Logos:

Not only does the Associated Press give a strong appeal to emotions, but they also give an appeal to logos by stating specific dates and athlete names, which make their article more persuasive and credible. When explaining Kaepernick’s movement, there is an appeal to logic when the Associated Press noted that “Nebraska football players Michael Rose-Ivey, Mohamed Barry and DaiShon Neal kneeled during the anthem before a game at the Northwestern…”

Michael Rose-Ivery, DaiShon Neal, and Mohammed Barry kneel during the national anthem.

Naming the players and team, gives the audience the options of doing a fact check, if they please, or look up more about the incident. We also see an example of logos in the first sentence of the fourth paragraph of the article, “Speaking Wednesday at the Team USA Awards, the first U.S. Olympic Committee event they’ve been invited to since their protest…”(The Associated Press). By including a distinct day, event, and emphasizing that it was the sprinters first U.S. Olympic Committee event they’ve been invited to, it gives the article evidence to support its claim.


The Associated Press makes a strong credible argument and inform readers of the current issue regarding Kaepernick’s protest through the use of specific word choice, names and events, and referencing of Tommie Smith and John Carlos. Through the use of specific word choice, the Associated Press writers appeal to the audiences emotions. Also, throughout the article, the writer’s constantly rely on ethos by quoting the two athletes and giving evidence to make the sprinters’ thoughts persuasive to the audience. Lastly, a logical appeal is used in the article when the writers give specific information and facts, such as the names of the Nebraska football players that kneeled down.

Works Cited

The Associated Press. “Raised-Fist Protesters Smith, Carlos Support Kaepernick.” The New York Times, 28 Sept. 2016. Web. 2 Oct. 2016.