Titan Shield

Opinion: To Stand or Not

Is it unpatriotic to kneel during the national anthem? Titans weigh in.

The+United+States+flag+billows+in+the+wind+at+San+Marino+High+School.++
The United States flag billows in the wind at San Marino High School.

The United States flag billows in the wind at San Marino High School.

Rakel Ang

Rakel Ang

The United States flag billows in the wind at San Marino High School.

Dahlys Ang and Rakel Ang

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Please rise for the national anthem.

Or not.

And that is exactly what several NFL players chose to do during recent performances of the Star-Spangled Banner. Athletes from many teams have chosen to kneel during the anthem as a peaceful sign of protest against police brutality, and other injustices.

This has led to extreme controversy over the pride that people should possess in being an American. Because soldiers have fought for our freedom, political figures have expressed strong views about why the American people should stand in support of those who have given their life for this country.

Andy Sutherland, quarterback for the Titans’ freshman football team, believes that, “NFL players shouldn’t be disrespecting the soldiers who have died getting paid close to nothing, so that they can play football and make millions.”

According to President Donald Trump, kneeling during the national anthem is not only an unpatriotic act during the Star-Spangled Banner, but is also disrespectful to those who have served in the armed forces.

Trond Grizzlle, another player on the Titans freshman football team agreed: “The football players should not have kneeled. There are other ways that they could show something’s wrong. Some teams are locking arms instead of kneeling and even though some are saying there is nothing wrong with what they did, military veterans can take it the wrong way.”

However, the opinion of Titan Shield reflects a more supportive view of those who have chosen to take advantage of their rights. Because the protest has been enacted in a peaceful manner with no violence or commotion caused whatsoever, players have the right to express their freedom of choice by kneeling during the national anthem as a sign of protest. If freedom of speech is limited, then the individuality and variation that American citizens have is strongly inhibited.

San Marino freshman Kari Miller agreed.

“I think it should be up to them whether they want to protest, and it is not unpatriotic,” Miller said.  “It is their first amendment right.”

Sophomore Katie Kirkendall had a similar outlook.

“It’s a free country. We have fought for our freedom to make choices, and should have the freedom to protest peacefully in a nonviolent way,” she said.

By remembering what makes America distinguished in the freedoms and rights that its citizens enjoy, it is important to remember that everyone is entitled to express themselves. Although the military have risked their life for the flag being raised, it is essential to remember that the price they paid gives society the freedoms they enjoy.

 

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Opinion: To Stand or Not