Will NFL protests spread to the younger generation?

By Greg Patuto | Published Oct. 21, 2017

Kean football scoreboard Credit: Greg Patuto

Kean football scoreboard Credit: Greg Patuto

Tuning into a sporting event used to mean nothing but rooting for your team or watching for the love of the game. Recently in the NFL however, people are now tuning in to see what players are doing before the game, not during. Sitting or kneeling during the national anthem is now happening all over the league and people are starting to take notice.

It all started on August 26, 2016 when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick was seen sitting during the national anthem. He said after the game that he is “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country to oppresses people of color.”

Despite being out of the league, Kaepernick’s message has stuck. Players, coaches and owners from all teams are now seen before games locking arms, kneeling or sitting during the national anthem. Professional athletes are big role models and icons to younger athletes so it is only a matter of time before this spreads to all levels of sports.

It comes down to the fact that aside from gaining publicity through their sport, there are very few things being done by NFL players about this issue. They all claim that there is a reason behind it but with them being such big celebrities, there are different paths that can be taken to fix these issues like taking part in protesting off camera.

NFL athletes have enough money where they can go out and actually make a difference where it is needed like poor neighborhoods and communities.

When asked about the new epidemic, Kean head football coach Daniel Garrett said that sports and politics should be separate.

“I think every sports figure are role models for children who not only watch them but idolize them,” Garrett said. “There should be a bigger responsibility to hold a higher standard.”

On September 23, Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland A’s became the first player in the MLB to kneel during the national anthem.

No one in any other sport has decided to protest like NFL players. But with basketball starting soon, keep an eye out to see if it has spread to other sports.

As for Kean’s football team, they have no intention on kneeling this season.

“I think our team has enough respect for each other and our locker room,” Garrett said. “It’s not about one man, it is about the guy to the left and the guy to the right, a big family.”

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