Equality, Justice & Love
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” 49ers Colin Kaepernick told media last month, explaining his belief in not standing during the national anthem preceding a game on August 26. “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.”
Since then, athletes across the nation have joined in with Kaepernick out of respect for his public display of awareness. Multiples of NFL players have been kneeling and raising their fists to show their solitary for Kaepernick. Unrecognized athletes are the ones supporting Kaepernick’s movement the most. Many among these are high school athletes. Athletes leading these movements the most are the ones of color, or the ones who feel especially targeted the most because the people who look most-similar to them who are being wrongfully killed and shot, daily. Watkins Mills High in Montgomery County made headlines recently for their whole team kneeling during the national anthem. Quarterback Markel Grant stated, “We just wanted to make a statement that America is not what you think it is,”. Young people using their sports as a public platform to speak out to the public is growing in attention; sometimes, the attention isn’t always in the athlete’s favor. The hate and love for these gestures among athletes are broad in both directions.
A media report recently shared Allen Joyner’s, a football announcer’s, words at a Friday football game at McKenzie High School in Alabama’s Butler County. Allen suggested that the athletes who did not stand for the national anthem deserve to be shot. Allen also stated, “If you don’t want to stand for the national anthem, you can line up over there by the fence and let our military personnel take a few shots at you since they’re taking shots for you,”.
Injustice is growing. Our culture is fixed on oppression, wanting validation and genuine equality more than ever before. I support kaepernick and have huge respect for the ones following in his footsteps in any public sport as a resource to share truth. We are all human beings, and deserve respect in that. I believe in the rebellion and uprising against oppressive forces in today’s society. I believe in any movement and persons who support concerns with the good of all society, who are not exclusive of race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, ability or other discriminatory factors. Our country deserves to change not just because we promised ourselves and this nation justice and freedom long ago, but because love needs to dominate Us more than ever before. Not agreeing with something is okay, racism and violent acts against the wrongfully accused is most definitely not. Speaking up without violence is needed more than ever in our culture. When will equality and love find its way and be known in a nation so lost in deep preferences, violence, oppression, expressions and fear?