The Kaepernick Effect


There is a famous quote by Spanish philosopher George Santayana, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ Lately, it seems like society has been trying to suppress the past, but it is proving to have little success. While there is a lot of buzz going on about the current hurricanes and threats of a WWIII, there is one popular repetition of American history right now that seems to be towering over the rest, peaceful protesting.

Peaceful protesting is seen as a powerful catalyst for change throughout black history whether it be by marching, or by refusing to sit at the back of the bus. In more recent times, former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has taken a knee during the National Anthem in order to protest the treatment of minorities in the United States. CBS Sports stated that since the start of the football season in September, over 108 football players and their coaches have gotten onto their knees or linked arms. Many people have insulted Kaepernick and these teams, saying that they are disrespecting both the American flag, Trump and his administration, and the US itself, but when Kaepernick first kneeled he did not intend for it to be taken that way. In fact, Kaepernick began kneeling during the last year if the Obama administration, but Trump’s backlash on Twitter against has motivated more players and people to join the fight against the modern-day oppression.

“This stand wasn’t for me. This [protest] is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice. People that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard and effect change. I’m in a position where I can do that, and I’m going to do that for people that can’t.” Kaepernick said in an interview with the Guardian.

People have argued that this protest was not only disrespectful but completely inappropriate to do at a national football game. The marches for Black Lives Matter have been called inappropriate. Anybody that calls out the unfair trials of taking away the innocent lives is called inappropriate because they talk about matters that make other people uncomfortable. So if these types of peaceful protest are “inappropriate” then in what way should people expressed how these injustices make them feel?

“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 said during an interview with the NFL, “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.”