October 19, 2016
Dear Future President,
Freedom of speech is one of the most important rights we have as Americans. The ability to express yourself without fear of the government retaliating against you is part of the fabric of America. Recently, NFL Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick has put the first amendment to the test. Should a professional athlete use their platform to make a public stand and to try and further their political views by disrespecting our flag and the nation's anthem. I think not, and I’d like to get your opinion on the matter.
Colin Kaepernick’s protests have been grabbing everyone by both the eye and the ear. He has been kneeling during the national anthem in such a disrespectful way and it’s time for him to stop. Due to his beliefs, he is kneeling for the Black Lives Matter movement. There is no doubt that black lives matter, in fact, all lives matter. However, he shouldn't be using the national anthem at a professional football game to get this boost of attention. Colin Kaepernick told Steve Wyche, an NFL media writer, that "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." This is Colin’s main reason in kneeling during the National Anthem, because he doesn't want to show pride. Did he have any pride in the first place? Maybe after losing his starting job he was frustrated and wanted to get attention once again, well he is doing a mighty fine job at that. According to Embry Roberts of the Today Show, Kaepernick stated,“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." Kaepernick thinks that he is helping minorities that are being oppressed by white America but actually, he is making racial tension problems even worse.
If Mr. Kaepernick didn’t live in America, the land of the free, he might not even be able to express his opinion at all. America is the greatest country in the world and it allows its citizens the right to speak their minds, even if they disagree with our government. Thus, it deserves respect.
Mr. Kaepernick makes about 11.9 million dollars a year to throw a football. While he is on the field, many men and women in our armed forces are fighting for our lives. They don’t make millions of dollars. And they do it so Mr. Kaepernick has the right to feel safe and can enjoy his freedom. Disrespecting the flag is disrespecting our soldiers.
Mr. Kaepernick is using football to make the issue of the killing of unarmed black people in America an even bigger problem than it already is. He is causing groups of people to react to racism in a way that’s not helpful, it’s hurtful. In an open letter to Kaepernick, retired Army Lt. Col. Kelly Crigger wrote that his actions were doing nothing but damaging progress already made. “You’re not a freedom fighter leading your people out of bondage,” Crigger wrote in an open letter on the website wearethemighty.com. “You’re an ill-informed athlete who’s only fanning the fires of racism by sitting on the sidelines for a principle that you only understand through a simplistic pop narrative that’s little more than a hashtag campaign.”
Kaepernick’s statement that, “There is police brutality. People of color have been targeted by police so, that’s a large part of it. There’s things we can do to hold them more accountable, make those standards higher.” Yes, he is right. But we need to find different way to go about holding the police accountable. We can train our police better, we can make new laws against police that have “failed” to do there job, we can educate the public.
Making a stand for what you believe in is perfectly fine, but the way Colin Kaepernick used the flag to get his extra boost of attention is wrong and disrespectful to the people that have helped him get to where he is today. This problem that has been widely spreading could've been solved and prevented another way then kneeling for a country that has protected you and kept you safe. This problem can be easily fixed if you, Mr. President, decide to put a little time into this topic and tell not only Colin Kaepernick but athletes all over the United States that there are other ways to fix problems than using a flag that has helped you get to where you are today.