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The Lookout | January 15, 2021

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Opinion: Quarterback Kaepernick’s platform too large to disrespect flag

Opinion: Quarterback Kaepernick’s platform too large to disrespect flag
The Lookout

By Aaron Emerson
Editor In Chief

At this point in 2016, the average American can at least agree on the fact that race relations in our country are not where they should be.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has made that an extremely controversial talking point recently after sitting down during a pre-game national anthem.

Though his reasons for doing so are well merited, he could have went about it in a different way.

Kaepernick said he sat during the national anthem to protest the way African Americans and minorities are being treated in the United States.

Throughout the last several years, we have seen many unarmed African Americans gunned down at the hands of police officers. That alone makes it easy to understand where Kaepernick is coming from.

Sitting down during the national anthem is Kaepernick’s right. Freedom of speech is one of the greatest principles on which our country was founded. But the way Kaepernick has decided to speak out has done nothing but caused controversy and backlash.

As someone who has quarterbacked a team to a Super Bowl in the NFL, Kaepernick has a large platform. If he chooses to speak out about the way minorities are treated, people are going to listen.

Not honoring the national anthem and the flag, however, disrespects the countless Americans who have lost their lives fighting to preserve our freedom.

I respect the fact that Kaepernick has chosen to stand up for something he is passionate about. He believes in something and has decided to take action. He has a large enough platform playing in the NFL to avoid this kind of controversy, though.

Kaepernick has said he will continue to sit down during the anthem until something changes.

Perhaps a trip to a hospital to see veterans who have lost their legs, or a visit with parents of a lost soldier, could change his mind. In my eyes, the national anthem and flag should always be about them.

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