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Where do you STAND with the new NFL Anthem Rule?

Wikimedia Commons - Keith Allison

By Joe Castro –

Last Month, the NFL passed a new rule, that all players and personnel have to stand for the National Anthem. This comes on the heels of 2 years of controversy and misunderstanding, ever since Colin Kaepernick decided to first take a knee during the National Anthem of preseason games for the 2016/2017 season. If players want to still protest, they can do so by staying in the locker room, which will just cause more controversy. What if a player isn’t feeling well, needs additional medical attention, or just needs a bathroom break before the game? Will he be forced to answer questions about the anthem?

While Kaepernick had a powerful and important reason to sit and protest, in doing so, he had caused a massive divide in many communities, that goes right along with our current political environment. His message, was to draw light and attention to racial inequality and police violence, which both seem to be running rampant in many cities across the US. What Colin didn’t realize, that while drawing attention to one issue, he created another major issue for so many other people across the country. One of disrespecting the flag, the military, and the country itself.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am the furthest thing from a politically opinionated person, so my opinion is one solely of a NFL fan. I personally don’t want politics mixed in with my sports, especially if it makes people feel like certain individuals are disrespecting the flag or military, mainly because no one is going to win this argument!

On one side you have people saying police brutality and racial inequality are horrible and need to be addressed and fixed. And those people are 1000% right!

On the other side you have people saying that our military, our national anthem, and our flag need to be respected and revered, especially for all the men and women who have died to protect all of us. And those people are 1000% right!

And then you have the underlying elephant in the room, which is if we are a FREE nation, and the military fights for the right to free speech, then shouldn’t players and individuals have the right to protest, even if it means sitting or kneeling during the national anthem?

As you can see, this is a vicious and never ending, no side winning, cycle that we have all had to deal with, and there is no end in sight. I hope for all of our sakes, the NFL’s future, and our future as a country as a whole, that we can learn to see other people’s points of view, realize that there are many issues that we need to address as a UNITED country, and that there is a proper time and place to make these opinions and social issues a topic of discussion and change. If not, we will continue to divide a line between us, and the NFL could be in for some serious consequences as it alienates both sides of this major topic…

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