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#TakeAKnee causes mixed feelings

Over a year ago, former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick made a major protest by sitting on the benches during the national anthem.

Kaepernick’s actions went unnoticed at first, but made headlines when he sat during the 49ers first three preseason games, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network.

According to SB Nation, Kaepernick began gaining attention for his protest on Aug. 26.

He later transitioned to taking a knee in protest to show more respect for military veterans, but the pose turned out to mean much more. Other players in the NFL joined in solidarity with Kaepernick, and the movement was born.

During a press conference, Kaepernick said “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

Originally, the protests began as a response to police brutality in America. Repeated videos showing police shooting and killing unarmed African American men began to surface. It illustrated the brutality that African Americans deal with in a situation with police officers.

That was then. Now, President Donald Trump has become a driving force in the protest. Last Friday, he said NFL players should be fired for kneeling during the national anthem.

This is a huge deal to Americans because politics are bleeding in to the sports world, and celebrities are voicing their opinions about it.

Most notably, former NBA superstar Kobe Bryant said Trump “can’t possibly ‘Make America Great Again’.”

“It displays a symbol of unity in a time when we need it most,” Kennedi Etheridge, a freshman nursing major, said. “It also shows that celebrities with power and money still know social issues and have the ability to respond to them.”

“It’s freedom of speech,” Jevon Robinson, a freshman, said. “People have different ways to show their beliefs. Kneeling during the national anthem happens to be the person’s choice, and we should honor that.”

On Sept. 23 Stevie Wonder took part in the movement at the Global Citizen Festival in NYC.

“Not just one knee, but I’m taking both knees,” Wonder said. “Both knees in prayer for our planet, our future and leaders of our world.”

Only time will tell if this stance creates change in our country for generations to come.

Written by Prince Robinson Jr. Photos courtesy of Elle.

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