By Matt Captain
[email protected]

The National Football League (NFL) had a huge uprising again this weekend over the issue of taking a knee during the national anthem. President Trumps remarks on Twitter fueled the fire. This controversy started with Colin Kaepernick
sitting down during the national anthem to raise awareness for racial injustice last year during President Obama’s administration. However, in my opinion,
racial prejudice has nothing to do with standing up for the national

Standing for the national anthem is to show respect for our nation, and to honor those who have fought for our country. Freedom isn’t free; to not stand up for those who have served in the military to allow every American to have the
opportunities of this great nation, is utterly disrespectful.

Additonaly, protesting Trump should have nothing to do with these demonstrations. Some of these protests are against Trump. A football game is not the time or place to protest a president especially when veterans are on the field. This is not about Trump; this is about respect for the military and the principles of the USA.

Specifically, the NFL teams reacted to this issue with a variety of actions this past Sunday. Some teams responded justly by locking arms and standing
together for the anthem. Conversely, others sat down or worse yet even stayed in the locker room during the anthem. The teams that chose to sit or stay in the locker room showed complete disregard for the American flag and what it

The anthem is directed toward the American flag which symbolizes our freedom and human rights. The red stripes symbolically represent Britain controlling the colonies with the white stripes representing liberty cutting the ties with Britain.

The American flag is for all people. No one is excluded or oppressed because of the American flag. America was not founded on racial injustice. It was based on
equality and liberty for every individual regardless of race, religion, or status. The Pledge of Allegiance states “with Liberty and Justice for all.” How could one not stand for the symbol of freedom and justice for all in the United States?

Ultimately, the military’s sacrifice gives you the ability to receive an education, to have rights and to enjoy the freedoms we have. This sacrifice of lives along with the freedoms the United States of America stands for including equality is what the American flag represents and why we stand for the national anthem.
To be clear, I am not saying it is not your right to protest and have freedom of speech because it is your right. Every individual has the right to express how he or she feels that is part of the Constitution.

However, I am saying that it is entirely disrespectful and wrong to not stand for the anthem. Remember the reason you have the freedom of speech is that of those who protected and fought for our nation: those who you honor by standing for the national anthem.

This is the opinion of Matt Captain, SJU sophomore