What Does the National Anthem Really Represent?

The past few weeks I haven’t gone a day without hearing or reading something about the national anthem protests that are taking place in the sports world. San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made headlines when he kneeled during the national anthem. He has kneeled in every game since and gained both haters and followers. He says he is doing it to bring attention to the social injustice taking place in America, which is a valiant act. While it is a tradition and a sign of respect to stand during the national anthem, there is no rule or law that says you must. Among those following Kaepernick are many NFL players who have chosen to kneel, raise their fists, or both in their own attempt to bring the issue to light. He has even inspired a younger generation such as the players of Garfield High School in the Bay Area to take a knee.

People who are angered over what Kaepernick has started have no right to be. Some argue that it is un-American while others have claimed that it is an insult to the people in the army who have given their lives for this country. While the national anthem can come to represent these things, it does not represent them solely. The people being mistreated and killed all over our country are represented by the national anthem as well. So why should they be standing up for a country that doesn’t respect or protect them? The fact that it is all over the media shows that the protests are working and are hopefully the first step in making a change.