America and their National Football league (NFL) have got a lot of attention recently over what has been called “kneeling protests.” So what are they? And why are they gaining so much attention?
So where did it all begin and why?
The silent protests began last year when one football player sat/kneeled during the national anthem in protest to racial inequality and brutality.
So why is gaining so much attention?
The protest has blown up since President Trump has taken offence to the action, considering it disrespectful to the flag and country. He openly disagrees with it across social media which has caused it grow.
Where is he coming from? The anti-kneeling argument
It is considered appropriate to show respect to and for one’s country when things such as the national anthem are played. It is not an uncommon for someone to stand or hold their hand over their heart (dependant on culture and country).
Americans (as a whole) are viewed as a patriotic group who incredibly respect their soldiers and country. From this perspective, not standing could be seen as disrespectful not only to the country but also to those who serve it and have given their lives for it.
Those on the opposite side of the protest look past the act as a symbol of disrespect and view as a statement on inequality and race relations like it was originally intended.
The act is a form of non-violent protest used to generate conversation and convey messages of which they are free to do so legally.
What does the public think?
While there is significant and on-going debate over the issue, research by Remington Research Centre found that the majority of Americans surveyed also believed that players should stand when the national anthem is played.
Are players required (legally) to stand?
Digging has found that standing was initially suggested in 1891, but only traditionally followed by NFL from 2009. Players are said to be “encouraged” to stand but are not technically required to.