Taking A Knee

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Taking A Knee

Sage Guzman, Staff Writer

The American flag: the emblem of our country, representing freedom, equality, justice and perseverance. To our soldiers, the American flag symbolizes not only their lives, but the lives of those we have lost while fighting for our countryeverything they struggle for. Members of the military honor the flag and have no tolerance for disrespect for it.

If you’ve been anywhere on the news or social media these past few weeks, chances are that you’ve seen post after post about the acts of protest within professional athletic teams all across America. Some of our nation’s top performing athletes have been kneeling during the national anthem to call attention to police brutality and violence against the African American community. Although these protests have remained peaceful, they have gained a lot of attention and controversy as more and more athletes have begun kneeling during “The Star-Spangled Banner”. One side of the controversy asserts that kneeling during the national anthem is not only disrespecting the flag but also the soldiers who fight so courageously for our country.

This is a very interesting opinion because while it may seem that they are disrespecting the soldiers, there is more to it than looking down upon our flag. I don’t believe the men or women who kneel during the national anthem are directly disrespecting our soldiers. Their point is not to throw dirt on the fearless. Along with much more, the American flag stands for this concept of justice and equality for men, women, and children regardless of race. Unfortunately though, our society does not align with these ideals. How can we continue to humble ourselves to a symbols which does not represent who we are or what kind of country we live in? These athletes are not disrespecting the flag. They are conveying their belief that as Americans, we are simply not living up to the ideals it represents.

If anything, our soldiers should appreciate that these athletes care enough to contribute to making the kind of America that they’re proud to fight for. After all, isn’t that our army’s cause? To preserve the “land of the free”—one that they don’t have to defend from our own people. Due to the athletes using their platforms to spread awareness of the injustice in the U.S., are they disrespecting our soldiers? That’s up to you to decide, but remember: they are doing this because they care about the fate of all people in our country—not just the ones with the upper hand.

Graphics courtesy of EMILY CHEN