Pro: It is your right to sit during the National Anthem


Zoe Vongtau, Design Editor

In a country built on ideals of self-expression and freedoms, America can be quite contradictory.In late August, back-up San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick exercised his constitutional right to protest during several pre-season games.

Based on his opinion that in recent history, America has not been fair and attentive, but oppressive to communities of color, especially black Americans, Kaepernick sat during the national anthem.His decision was met with friction from patriots and activists alike. Some interpreted his decision as disrespectful, while some activists questioned his ethnicity and sincerity to the causes. Although Kaepernick’s actions may seem inappropriate, they are valid.

The American Constitution grants citizens the freedom to protest and freely express their opinions, which is simply what Kaepernick is doing. By sitting, he is using his platform to draw attention to worthy concerns.Despite that, what Kaepernick is doing isn’t new or revolutionary. Other athletes have spoken out on political issues, with the most famous being Muhammad Ali and his opposition of the Vietnam War.

Also notable was the work of Tommie Smith and John Carlos who displayed the black power salute at the 1968 Olympic Games.These athletes had to know that their actions would spur a lot of opposition, so their decisions speak make their work more remarkable. To make effective change, necessary measures like Kaepernick’s must be taken.To add financial backing to his protest, Kaepernick plans to donate $1 million this year to charities battling inequality. He is being joined in this effort by 49ers owner Jed York. More recently, teammates have also joined in his protest.

Ironically, presidential candidate Donald Trump’s slogan to “Make America Great Again” basically sends the same message Kaepernick is conveying: that America simply has its faults which need to be addressed.