Take a stand and stand

By Austin Stankowski

The Mirror reporter

Over the past few weeks, members of the National Football League (NFL) have engaged in a protest where players decided to kneel during the national anthem. Many people have taken firm stances about the subject, many wanting the players to stop the protest and others wanting changes to occur before the protest ends.

Some people, including veterans, hate the fact that players kneel for the national anthem and I agree with them.

Everyone needs to take a step back, take a deep breath, and realize just how special America already is. We have a government that lets us do whatever that we want, unlike countries like North Korea where people constantly bow down to their leader in fear of their lives.

The whole point of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeling in the first place was to highlight how there is police brutality in America. Now people are kneeling to show unity? The greatest way to show countrywide unity is having everyone stand up, put their hand over their heart, and respect the anthem.

America does have social injustice and police brutality, but you should not show your disgust towards the flag, the one icon that has always seemed to connect Americans. Kaepernick wanted to change America for the better, and we do need change, but a sporting event is not the place to do it.

The protests cause people to feel divided, which caused conflict, which in turn caused even more problems. The result of this is a snowball effect that could very well send a government tumbling down the wrong slope.

The steps that are being taken seem to be leading us down a road from which we will soon not be able to turn back. It may be leading us to a second civil war where people finally will have had enough of this great country and try to destroy it.

A way to stop these protests is to ignore them. The more public attention these protests get, the more people are going to keep doing them.

If we do not give any publicity to these protests, they will lose their purpose because people will forget about them and protestors may stop what they are doing.

Internally, the NFL has created harsh penalties for wearing the wrong color cleats, but it allows its players to kneel for the national anthem? Why wouldn’t the NFL pose stricter guidelines against its players regarding the protests?

The NFL may now be starting to feel the hurt from these protests. According to Darren Rovell, an ESPN sports and business analyst, “Through week four, NFL ratings are down nine percent vs last year thru week four. Ratings were down eight percent last year vs 2015 over entire regular season.”

This shows the NFL may be getting hurt by these protests, and people are beginning to give up football all together for these reasons. Some people have burned their ex-favorite team’s jersey in an attempt to show their disgust in the protests.

The players in the NFL need to take a step back, grow up, and think about who they are affecting and what they are doing by taking a knee. This is flat out inexcusable, and I feel this could lead to further conflict down the road.