Please Kneel for the National Anthem

OHS Satff Express Their Feelings On Our First Amendment

Header: Please “Kneel” for the National Anthem

Subheader: OHS Staff Express Their Feelings On Our First Amendment

September 10, 2018

Writer: Joseph Lopez


Our moral compass will decide rather we see a act of kneeling as expressing the first amendment or as an uncivil act. Colin Kaepernick, a former 49ers quarterback in the National Football League, kneeled  upon the American flag during the national anthem on August 26, 2016, in protest of racial discrimination because he is willing to do what he believes is right even if many believe it is wrong.


Kaepernick’s actions during the national anthem have caused a tremendous amount of attention, considering he is the first NFL player to protest in the manner of kneeling. Although this may have been a peaceful protest, some say it should not be allowed because it is not patriotic and is said to be very disrespectful to our country.


“His actions were totally understandable because of the Black Lives Matter movement, and it was a peaceful protest with no harm done,” said Oxnard High School teacher Patrick Casey.  


OHS Athletic Director, Jaime Moreno, also shares his insight about Kaepernick’s actions, “I think it’s understandable. It’s his first amendment right. It’s part of his freedom of speech[…] you can disagree with what he does but you have to give him the right to do what he does”. This act that Kaepernick performed was no act of violence, but instead a peaceful protest that deserves appreciation, rather than scorn.


Unfortunately, Kaepernick’s job as an NFL player was revoked. In the following year of his kneeling, the 2017 football league had no team who offered Kaepernick a contract (CNN.US) Although Kaepernick’s football career has been put on hold, the famous sportswear company, NIKE, hired Colin Kaepernick to star in an ad they created for their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. Kaepernick’s known quote in the ad states, “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything.”(The Washington Post). Which should be a life motto.


Hugo Hernandez, little league football coach for Panthers and Aztecs of Hueneme, California, shares, “Even though he may have hurt some people’s feelings, Colin’s quote reflects on his actions, which I do believe were acceptable. And as far as him becoming a Civil Rights Activist, I believe he is not one yet but is making his was there”.


Kaepernick’s uproar has propelled him into the role of a Civil Rights Activist. Moreno adds, “Not to the point of somebody like Martin Luther King Jr. or Cesar Chavez or anything like that. He is a crusader for social justice, yes, but I think he has to be more out there, more active in the community.” Moreno’s comment shows that Kaepernick’s fight for justice and can make a positive change even though it costed him his career, his mission to be a social justice leader is now his greater role.