Kneeling No Longer a Big Deal, But Will Something Else Replace It?

Mina Refardt, Staff Writer, Journalism I

On Sunday, September 24, 2017, the idea of taking a knee during the national anthem spread like wildfire through the whole nation.

Many football players all over the country knelt while placing their hands on their hearts and singing along the anthem.

Colin Kaepernick, a former NFL player, knelt during the national anthem to protest against police brutality and racial injustice.

President Trump reacted to that in a speech in Huntsville, Alabama, on Friday, September 22, 2017, and said how disrespectful kneeling is to “our” flag. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of the NFL owners, when somebody disrespect our flag, to say ‘Get that son of the bitch out of the field right now. Out! He’s fired, he’s fired!’” he said.

Although his supporters were happy about that speech, other people reacted differently than the President. Some celebrities reacted with a tweet.

Ellen Degeneres tweeted ‘As a football fan, I am proud of the NFL players today. Nothing is more American than the right to peacefully protest’ and Stevie Wonder and his son took both knees during his concert in New York.

Some football players and former players also commented on the debate. John Brown tweeted: ‘I am an American. I don’t desecrate my flag and national hymn.”  

“I’m not going to do anything against the flag or national hymn,” said Brown. He also called kneeling during the anthem a wrong way to protest.

Other people involved in the NFL however disagreed with the President. Commissioner Roger Goodell stated in an interview: “Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players.”

The cast of Grey’s Anatomy that was celebrating their 300th episode of the show a few days after Trump’s speech, joined the players and other celebrities in protesting racial injustice.

Shonda Rhimes, creator of the show and Ellen Pompeo, main actress, both shared a picture where most of the actors of the show were kneeling with their hands on their heart on Instagram with the comment ‘And we took a knee in solidarity of racial justice.”

Trump reacted angrily to the statement of Goodbell and tweeted, ‘Roger Goodell of the NFL just put out a statement to justify total disrespect certain players show to our country.” Trump tweeted, “Tell them to stand!”

Three months later, the kneeling during a national anthem is not an issue in the media anymore but who knows if it will be one again someday or if another protest like this will come along.