Show respect, stand

The ill-mannered #TakeaKnee movement started in the 2016 NFL preseason when former San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the National Anthem. He did this in support of the young black Americans who were killed in recent police brutality incidents. Since then, athletes across the NFL have begun to take a knee or simply sit during the National Anthem in protest of the racial inequality some perceive in this country.

The issue has been the most popular topic in the American sport’s world and has gathered nationwide attention. These athletes are dividing American sports, which is one of the few activities in this country that isn’t divided, by protesting and being disrespectful to the flag.

“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 told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the Aug. 26 preseason game between the 49er’s and Green Bay Packers. “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.”

Sitting or kneeling may be a right, but it is disrespectful. There is no prevalent issue regarding black people and police brutality that calls for protesting, as most of the time the “victim” of the shooting warranted police engagement due to his or her dangerous actions or behavior.

An article from the Washington Post in 2009 states that out of all violent crimes in which someone was charged, black Americans were charged with 57 percent of murders, 62 percent of robberies and 45 percent of assaults in the country’s 75 largest counties.

Although they only make up about 13 percent of the population, black Americans commit most of the crimes in the largest counties of the country. Due to the high rates of crime and danger in these counties, an officer of any race in these areas would still create the same number of deaths. The killings have nothing to do with race; they are just fatalities from the high rates of crime in these areas.

Another article from the Washington Post states that in 74 percent of all fatal police shootings, the individual had already fired shots at the police, brandished a gun or attacked a person with his/her bare hands or a weapon. In another 16 percent of fatal shootings, there was no active gunfire or attacks but the individuals were making dangerous threats or displaying knives. This proves that most of these incidents are not out of line by the police, but are just attempts to save themselves and other people. The police are not targeting anyone when they defend themselves; these shootings have nothing to do with the race of the individual, but rather what the individual is doing.

The statistics alone prove football players are misguided in their views, and that there is no reason to be protesting. This draws attention away from football and instantly makes those who kneels controversial. Athletes who a lot of people supported may begin to be seen in a negative way by the majority of football fans. This negative image they have created has resulted in terrible TV ratings for the NFL throughout the last two years. Yet, the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell keep supporting the protesters despite the heavy criticism and bad ratings they are receiving.

The police are not targeting anyone when they defend themselves; these shootings have nothing to do with the race of the individual, but rather what the individual is doing.”

Many people only see one side of the brutality issue: the side that shows more black people getting killed by cops. While the amount of blacks killed by cops is a staggering number, the amount of whites killed is almost parallel. Meaning the protest is based off misrepresented statistics so people should stand, respect the flag and honor the people who fought for it.