This NFL protest is a subject all too uncomfortable for many Americans, but protests are made to make us uncomfortable. So, before and hopefully after reading this article please do these four things: open your mind, open your eyes, open your ears, and most importantly… open your heart! This is vital in all aspects of life because we all come from different backgrounds, have different experiences, and will disagree on many issues to come. But being able to sit down peacefully to listen to each others concerns, thoughts, feelings, and issues with an open mind, open eyes, open ears, and an open heart is the only way we can come together not only as a nation, but as the human race to make real positive change. 

Disrespecting the Flag


Did you know that it is listed as disrespectful to hold the flag horizontally as they do on the field? Did you know it is disrespectful to wear the flag as clothing, a swimsuit or as a bandanna? And did you know that it’s disrespectful to have the flag touch the ground? But where are the patriots spewing vitriol and foaming from the mouth at for these signs of disrespect?


Neither flag code nor the constitution say anything about standing for the anthem. However, people have a problem with the players peaceful protest kneeling during the National Anthem, but do not have a problem with these actual signs of disrespect toward our flag. Contrary to popular belief, Colin Kaepernick has actually gone out and done work in the community and has used millions of dollars of his own money to start programs to help bring awareness to the issues of social injustice, racial inequality, and police brutality. I’m appalled and ashamed that the NFL has blackballed Colin. I find it sad that people are in an uproar over these players kneeling for the anthem instead of opening their hearts and minds to the fact that innocent unarmed black men and women are being killed by police. Then those police hide behind a blue wall of silence and the words “perceived threat” to walk away scott free from taking accountability for their heinous actions! Are all police bad? No! Are the majority of police bad? No! Are there bad apples in every profession and in all walks of life? Yes! However, if we do find one of those bad apples they must be held accountable for taking the life of an innocent human being, yet they usually receive paid leave and are right back to work. Police have to be held to the highest of standards and we must be able to trust them to protect us from evil, not deliver it!

Why the Anthem?

Some people say these players chose the wrong vehicle in the National Anthem to use for their protest. They have thought, maybe if they just would have called the media to set up a press conference this all could have been avoided. Possibly some NFL media and local news stations would have come, but it would have been a small story and disappeared before the blink of an eye. Other people say that these players are spoiled millionaires and if they feel oppressed then they should leave this country! Protests are supposed to make people uncomfortable which brings awareness to the issues at hand and makes people start a dialogue. These players are using their platform to not just speak for themselves or their loved ones, but to speak for those who don’t have a voice. Tell the families of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and countless others that these players are spoiled millionaires and chose the wrong vehicle to protest and bring light to a very serious issue in our country. 

The Outrage

Colin Kaepernick took his knee and told the media afterwards exactly what he was kneeling about. He said it’s not about the anthem nor the veterans, whom he respects and thanks for their service, but that this protest is about social injustice, racial inequality, and police brutality. He made it very clear, but you see people can’t hear when what’s being said is something they don’t want to admit to or deal with. President Donald Trump has gone as far as calling the players that are peacefully protesting and whom are his fellow American citizens “sons of bitches.” He has also said this about Senator John McCain, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” Still you say these players are the ones disrespecting our veterans, yet they’ve told you many times exactly what they are protesting and it has nothing to do with the flag, the anthem, nor the veterans. People don’t want to acknowledge the real issue so they turn it into something it’s not by saying they are disrespecting our flag and anthem, they hate the veterans, and they hate all police and this country. To me, if you wanted the players to hold a press conference and not take a knee then you must have wanted Rosa Parks to stay sitting in the back of the bus and when she got off at her next stop to just yell, “I SHOULD BE ABLE TO SIT IN THE FRONT TOO,” as the bus pulled away. 
These players will continue to kneel, raise their fists, and bring attention to these issues until America and what our flag is supposed to represent gives them what it promised to all its citizens, not just the white ones – EQUALITY!

The Hope

If after reading this article and listening to the videos below you are still angry, still spewing vitriol, and still foaming from the mouth then you did not heed the advice in the beginning about having an open mind, open eyes, open ears, and an open heart. So America, you can listen to the real issues these players are protesting about and be a part of the solution or you can listen to the media noise and get all riled up about patriotism, the flag, the anthem, and our veterans which these players are NOT protesting nor disrespecting, the choice is yours. Having compassion and empathy while being able to step out of your world and put yourself in someone else’s shoes is not an easy task, but a vital one if we are ever to become ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!


Below are just a few videos on this topic including:
  • Army Veteran Nate Boyer’s initial thoughts of the protest then his thoughts after sitting down and talking with Colin Kaepernick
  • Colin Kaepernick’s explanation on why he wasn’t standing for the National Anthem
  • Commentary on the protests from a Texas sportscaster, Dan Hansen
  • Tariq Toure’s poem – For The Love of the Game
  • Osi Umenyiora & Jason Bell on NFL Protests
  • Montel Williams, who was a marine, gives his thoughts on the NFL protest
  • Nick Cannon’s song – Stand For What

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By Noah Gronniger

Noah, a sports fan since 1992, began his journey into sports media in 2012. He is co-founder of the Great American Sports Network as well as a podcast host, filmmaker and freelance writer.

2 thoughts on “NFL Protest: Equality Not Disrespect”
  1. I still find it disrespectful to ‘ take a knee’ . You stand for a flag, anthem. an prayeryou kneel at a cross. The largest part of American’s aren’t going for it.Colin K needs to hit the bricks.

  2. If any of the NFL players, coaches, and the administration is truly in support of the issue of systematic injustices and police brutality towards African Americans in this country, they need to come out publicly in support of Colin Kaepernick and at minimum offer him an apology.

    For anyone to still feel like kneeling is a disrespect to the Flag, is totally ridiculous. A disrespect to the flag is to wear it, burn it, let it touch the ground, etc… but to kneel in solidarity in support of systematic injustices during the national anthem symbolizes the issue is a nation wide issue. “One Nation Under God”, “Land of the Free”, and “Home of the Brave” . The blatant stance towards thinking it is disrespectful, even when respected members of the military clearly stated it is a sign of respect, is crazy to me.

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