Column: Kaepernick’s controversy contradicts meaning of National Anthem

Column: Kaepernick’s controversy contradicts meaning of National Anthem

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Renee Backstrom

Recently in the news, there has been major controversy about athletes not standing for the National Anthem. From football to soccer and many other sports, athletes have been choosing not to stand for their own different reasons. I feel like it is just a put-down to soldiers who fight and risk their lives for us everyday.

They say the controversy all started with San Francisco’s Colin Kaepernick, but he needs to get off his high horse because it actually dates back to the 1950’s. The Baltimore Orioles, of all teams, decided that playing the National Anthem before every game cheapened its impact. Sources say Kaepernick doesn’t stand for racial injustice and police violence, but there are so many other ways he could make that known.

What Kaepernick must not know about “The Star-Spangled Banner” is that it was originally written as a poem. The writer, Francis Scott Key, was watching people fight and drew his inspiration from the flag after we won the battle.

Since the song is actually based on watching battles, which to Kaepernick is what is going on right now with the police, shouldn’t that make him want to believe in the song more? “The Star-Spangled Banner” symbolizes triumphing in battle. If he really believes the controversy with the police is a battle, then why does he disrespect the song?

Instead of not standing, Kaepernick has recently been taking a knee during the National Anthem to show his support for our troops. Why doesn’t he just stand and do something to make a bigger impact on the subject? By him kneeling and getting others to as well just looks like he wants all the attention on him instead of what he believes in.

Other NFL players have followed in Kaepernick’s actions. From the San Francisco 49ers, Eric Reid again knelt for the National Anthem before Sunday’s game against the Panthers. In addition to members kneeling, others have been raising their fists in protest against the National Anthem.  Not only is it just within the 49ers, but players from the Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, and Green Bay Packers have partaken in the National Anthem shenanigans.

I am all for people having different beliefs, but there comes a point where if you believe in something so much that you will go against the “song of america,” you better back it up with more than, “I am just mad with the world.”