I kneel with Kaepernick

October 26, 2017


Roderic Lloyd

Staff Reporter | rsl010@latech.edu


Colin Kaepernick is a free agent quarterback who initiated kneeling during the playing of the anthem to peacefully protest inequality, police brutality and racial injustices against minorities.


Kaepernick filed a grievance against the National Football League (NFL) for collusion  Oct. 15.


Whether or not NFL owners have colluded to keep Kaepernick out of the league is up for debate, but the moment Kaepernick stepped out on the ledge to be a voice for the voiceless, he pinned himself against the NFL, the president of the United States and citizens in America who fail to understand the objective of this protest.


Protests are not meant to maintain comfortability amongst those that are comfortable. They also don’t come without controversy or strain between what is ultimately right and wrong.


Many players have joined Kaepernick in protesting and created continued conversation and hopefully eventual change, but Kaepernick, who started the message heard worldwide, is left unemployed.


In a season that has been riddled with injuries to quarterbacks, it is baffling to me that Kaepernick, an accomplished and experienced veteran has not even been granted the opportunity to possibly become a backup on a NFL roster.


This is in spite of the mediocrity on display by starting quarterbacks and/or their replacements. Owners league-wide have overlooked his abilities and experience because of his decision and the controversy that comes with it. The president of the United States has appropriated Kaepernick’s First Amendment rights as an American and used his platform to turn it into an act of disrespect to the anthem, flag and military.


Are we as people so hypocritical that we would rather drape ourselves in the flag and completely neglect the difference between peacefully using the anthem as a vehicle to protest and disrespecting this country, our flag and anthem?


Kneeling is usually seen as a sign of solidarity. One kneels when he prays, a player of the opposing team is injured or if he is being addressed by a coach. So, how does it become disrespectful when Kaepernick or any player kneels for the anthem, when in reality they are kneeling in solidarity with those who are oppressed and don’t have a voice in this great country?


Instead of avoiding the issues at hand by recrafting our own meaning of protests, undermining the importance of having these conversations and evoking change that is equal for all citizens of this country, we should all kneel with Kaepernick and stand for his fight for equality and social justice for all citizens of this country.

Roderic Lloyd is a junior communication major from Longview, Texas.


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