I see too much influence of sometimes-vicious political propaganda regarding football players protesting by taking a knee (or locking arms) during the national anthem. That propaganda says they are disrespecting the flag and the nation by not standing; I disagree.
I don’t see any of that supposed disrespect. None of these players are talking or laughing, unlike many in the stands! Their attention is quietly focused on the anthem ceremony, just as it should be. Only their posture is “wrong”, and that is the attention-getting item that makes the protest successful.
Protest is indeed as American as apple pie. This nation was quite literally born out of protest! The most famous of these protests was the Boston Tea Party, but there were many over several years, before the shooting started that became the American Revolution.
The protest issue itself aside, what’s different here is the utter lack of any real collateral damage! Most protests as we have known them lead to people getting hurt or property damage being done. Nobody is hurt, and no damage is done, when these players kneel!
I applaud that; it’s the most beneficially innovative form of protest I have ever seen. Of course, it’s television showing it, that makes it as effective as it is.
As for the protest issue, the statistics verify that something is indeed wrong with equality-of-justice in this country. It’s probably a lot more complicated than any one explanation, things usually are.
But if there’s a problem, simple ethics demands we investigate and try to correct it.
The protest exists because we haven’t been paying attention to this problem.
To support my point, here are two photos taken during the anthem ceremony at a couple of football games. The first is fan behavior, which is largely pretty good. Most are standing, some are singing.
I see some crossed arms (usually symbolic of disapproval of, or impatience with, what is going on), a few talking instead of singing or paying attention, and at least one individual paying attention to a cell phone instead of the ceremony (dead center, about 3/4 of the way down the photograph).
The second is of players, which are kneeling in protest. All are quiet, and all are focused on the ceremony. Other than the “wrong” posture, where is the disrespect? No one is laughing or talking, no one is focused on anything but the ceremony.