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Is kneeling during the National Anthem justified?

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On Sept. 22 President Trump addressed the media on his view of athletes protesting during the singing of the National Anthem in an attempt to bring attention to social injustice. In response to these comments on Sept. 24 an increase of players, joined by the owners, knelt while some entire teams stayed in the locker room for the playing of the National Anthem.

“If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our great American flag (our country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do,” President Trump responded on Twitter to protesting players.

Many people believe that players should be able to protest during the National Anthem, as freedom of expression is included in their first Amendment rights. On the other hand, people also believe it is disrespectful to the people who serve the country.

“I struggle with that having gone to a military school; I graduated from The Citadel. I have tremendous respect for service members for everything they do in the representation of our flag as well as the representation for our freedom of speech. It’s sort of a fine line but within their fight for our freedom. . .that freedom is of course the freedom of speech,” said Coach Nesbit, a Summerville alum and football coach.

“I feel that a lot more people have been more receptive to at least understanding the opposition because of the protest, but then on the counter, those that brought into the conversation their own stance and feelings about the protest have sort of dug their heels into their own beliefs” Nesbit said about the way the protest affects society.

“The protest is an expression of their first amendment rights” said Matthew Beard, a senior at Summerville High School.

Beard believes that while it can be seen as disrespectful the purpose is to “bring awareness to a cause they believe in.”

Multiple people people believe that Trump should not be synonymous with what the American Flag and the National Anthem represent.

“President Trump should be synonymous by position but by his person the majority of the world would disagree,” shared Coach Rasner, soccer coach.

Players and people around the team’s organization are continuing to protest the social injustice that takes place in America, though not everyone agrees with the time/place that they are protesting.

Even though the recent comments made by President Trump and the players reactions have created more tension, the awareness brought to the cause has grown exponentially.

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The student news site of Summerville High School.
Is kneeling during the National Anthem justified?