By Lauren Parody
Due to racial tensions within the nation, many NFL players have chosen to kneel during the national anthem while others continued to stand for their country.
On September 25th, a normal Sunday for football, several teams did not participate for the national anthem by standing with their hand on their heart. Instead, many chose to kneel while the Pittsburgh Steelers did not even come out of their locker room. This caused an uproar with many fans and the public.
The entire offensive line of the Oakland Raiders, the only line in the NFL made up entirely of African American players, was joined by virtually the entire team in kneeling or sitting during the national anthem. It was one of the strongest visual displays of the many protests on Sunday, across the field.
Tampa Bay had two players kneel during the anthem, DeSean Jackson and Mike Evans.
“The Buccaneers recognize every individual’s constitutional right to freedom of speech, which is crucial to the American way of life that we cherish,” the team said in a statement, “We are equally committed to the principles of inclusivity and respect for differing points of view that should be afforded to all Americans.”
Starting in August 2016 with Colin Kaepernick’s individual protests about police brutality, which eventually resulted in President Donald Trump’s backlash via twitter, many players decided it was time to put up a fight for what they believe in, and how they felt.
President Trump became a catalyst for the protest Friday, Sept 23rd, when he said during a campaign rally in Alabama that he wished that NFL players would be fired for kneeling during the national anthem. Many players were offended and decided to take a stand, although not literally, because many did not stand.
Nyeem Sims, a 10th grader at Central Dauphin High School, agrees with the players’ decision and would do it himself. Another 10th grader, Emmanuel Feliciano, understands where they are coming from but would not participate in doing this himself because he has family in the Marines and feels as though it is disrespectful.
Both students said they disagreed with President Trump’s decision to tweet at current football players.
Another Sunday of football comes up every weekend, and the nation waits to see if the players will continue to kneel and not participate in the national anthem.