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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick made headlines this weekend for not standing during the national anthem at Friday’s pre-season game. When asked about his decision he said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

Kaepernick is not the only athlete to call attention to social issues in 2016.

  • In July, players from three WNBA teams defied the league’s dress code by wearing black warm up shirts to call attention to police involved shootings in their states. The league initially fined the players and their teams for violating the dress code, but eventually dismissed the charges.
  • At the Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, Ethiopian runner Feyisa Lilesa crossed his arms at the marathon finish line in protest of the persecution faced by the Omoro people of his home country.

[UPDATE]

Since Kaepernick’s protest, other athletes have been inspired by his actions, and have joined in solidarity.

On the flip side, some feel that politics and sports should stay separate. Others felt disrespected by Kaepernick’s decision not to stand.

What do you think? Should athletes use their platform to bring awareness to social issues, or should they focus on playing their sport?

Respond in the comments below or on Twitter using the hashtag #DoNowKaepernick. Follow the trending Twitter hashtag  to see what others have to say.


Also, this…

Political Tension at the Olympics: A History [The Lowdown, KQED]

When Athletes Take Political Stands [The Atlantic]

What Colin Kaepernick’s National Anthem Protest Tells Us About America [Rolling Stone]

Should Athletes Use Their Public Platform to Make Political Statements? 1 September,2017Chanelle Ignant

  • Zac Adler

    There are two very valid sides to this argument. Professional athletes that are hired by a franchise to take on a very important role on a team should remain focused on their team’s pursuit of goals. However, lately in the United States as well as other nations across the world have begun to see an increasing amount of prejudice, racism, and other types of unfair treatment. The way things are going currently around going to fly, so its understandable that people are fed up, and want to see a change. While i do admit, sometimes incidents such as Kaepernick’s choice to remain seated during the National Anthem may draw attention off the game, or his teammates, but what people remember is his choice to speak up. He has attracted more publicity and attention to the issue than he would’ve if he had remained silent, which is most likely his goal.

    • Nicholas Feeley

      I agree that both sides have valid feelings about this situation. I also want to add that what Kaepernick did was a brave thing since it is very likely to offend many Americans and in turn possibly lose sponsors. Though I do not know if this will lead to more athletes having the courage to speak up about different issues. #DoNowKaepernick #MyCMSTArgs

  • Yashar C.

    A person utilizing their publicity to promote their political stand points only seems right, especially in America. http://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2016/07/when-athletes-take-political-stands/490967/ Since it’s a “free” country, one should not feel fearful towards doing so because of the possibility of losing endorsements and/or receiving scorn by those who put America on a pedestal. The U.S. tends to hide its political issues regarding topics like race, so many individuals standing outside the country visualize the U.S. as a perfect place when it actually has flaws. To make matters worse, the oppressed have small voices that most rather not hear. With that said, it takes individuals with publicity and courage to speak upon what needs to be addressed. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowKaepernick

    • bgirl272

      I agree I think ever celebrity should stand behind important issues they believe in and use their fame to bring them to light. We have freedom of speech for a reason, to use it. Celebrities talking about issues allow ideas to flow faster and information to be exchanged between more people. This is what I think needs to happen if we want change at all.

    • Alisha

      I like how you brought up that the oppressed have voices that people are not willing to hear. That means that those with the power to have their voice heard should speak out for themselves and others who cannot do so themselves. Can you imagine if athletes or celebrities made a better, more conscious effort to use their power in a positive way to enact change? The fear of losing endorsements or sponsors just doesn’t seem as big of a deal to me as the issues in our country.
      #MyCMSTArgs

    • Kim Cuong Nguyen

      I agree that it is Kaepernick’s right to use his fame to raise awareness to issues he want to promote. It sucks that he has to fear losing his endorsements, but those are companies and they have a right to not endorse him if they want. What Kaepernick did riled up some feathers, therefore, companies don’t want to be associated with that type of press. All in all, I think any public figure have the right to promote their points and companies have the right not to endorse certain public figures. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowKaepernick

  • EndlessBeauty

    @KQEDEdspace In agreeance to Yashar C. I do believe the public figure represents those that have a voice but are not being heard. I feel like the issues that are going on and how people aren’t being taken seriously. Many people feel Kaepernick is direspecting the flag by not standing up with everyone else saying the Pledge of allegiance. His reason for sitting is because there is injustice in America and pleging”I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” He doesn’t feel that there is justice or that we act as one nation, so for me I agree. What are we really pledging to? #DoNowKaepernick

    • Yashar C.

      I definitely appreciate your views and opinion @disqus_QeEqrZNAFf:disqus. I know for certain that America wishes to suppress the voice of those victimize by the system. In order to maintain its commercial portrayal of a land that offers so much promise and freedom, I could somewhat understand why this nation would hide SOME issues, but to a minimal extent. For the most part, anything concerning the safety and fairness of its people regardless of their various dispositions should not be silenced. #DoNowKaepernick #MyCMSTArgs

  • Nicholas Feeley

    If an American athlete chooses to make a political statement, I don’t see any reason they should be punished for it. Athletes have no obligation to use their position as a platform for political action but if they choose to do so that is within their first amendment right. if someone in a foreign country chooses to use that platform it is a different story. Depending on the country they could face severe consequences for political dissent. As athletic figures there is no expectation for you to make a political statement. Choosing not to stand during the national anthem is a right as an american and is not a choice that will get you in prison. On the other hand though we can see that choosing to be political can make you a far poorer athlete. Many athletes are scared of loosing sponsors and in turn their wealth. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-greenfeld-muhammad-ali-political-risk-20160610-snap-story.html #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowKaepernick

    • Yashar C.

      @nicholas_feeley:disqus I agree. The consequence of losing money from companies and sponsors seems a bit outrageous for merely speaking up one’s beliefs. It’s not like Kaepernick’s statement was nonfactual or offensive. It was the ugly truth. Looking at previous cases of celebrities losing sponsorships for doing such, It almost seems that many people of higher positions are in on the suppression of truth. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowKaepernick

    • Kim Cuong Nguyen

      I agree with you. In America, we all have the right to freedom of speech and expression, therefore, if an athlete decides to make a political statement than it’s right to do so. I think what Kaepernick did was justified. Furthermore, it sucks that athletes can lose their sponsors and wealth, but because they have so much to lose, it’s even more admirable what Kaepernick did. He risked his sponsors and wealth to express his thoughts. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowKaepernick

    • Zac Adler

      Strongly agree. The fact that no one expects athletes to be speaking out about issues like this is exactly why its so important that we acknowledge what has happened. As a democratic society we cannot simply suppress the negatives and block it out like nothing bad is happening to our country. if expect there to be any sort of change in how our society operates, we as the american people are going to need to stand together and voice our concerns, fight for what we believe in.

  • Julian Kirk

    Personally I feel like athletes should be able to make a political statement without being punished but I also believe that if sponsors did not like what the person they are sponsoring said they have the right to cut ties with them as well. Sponsors can sponsor who they want and if they don’t want to sponsor him anymore over what he said then it is their choice I suppose… Unfortunate though…

    • bgirl272

      I think that he maybe went about the issue in the wrong way as well. To say that there are problems in America with inequality and oppression is very true but to not stand for the national anthem doesn’t really correlate with me. I think this type of a small gesture is a good peaceful idea to bring about change, but to say that you won’t stand up for a ceremony that is suppose to represent the freedoms of the people because its not happening fully makes absolutely no sense.

      • Alisha

        I agree with you about his course of action. It didn’t seem to be the right way to go about issues of oppression, but maybe that was the only grand gesture he could think of that would gain the attention he wanted. I do think, however, that he could have simply used his voice and spoken out on the issues he believes in and everyone would have listened regardless. Any major public figure or celebrity has the power to be heard, no matter what they are discussing, they WILL be heard. And that is something to take advantage of.
        #MyCMSTArgs

      • TJ

        I’m curious if he simply made the decision as a personal one and people blew it up as some kind of formal protest. Either way I feel he is quite justified in not partaking in ceremony of a country he feels doesn’t represent him.

      • Zac Adler

        It’s sad that America, a country built on the notion of freedom for all has come to a point where people that are truly trying to advocate for a better, more equal society are greatly criticized. i agree with you in the sense that sitting during our national anthem should usually be viewed as disrespectful.. but i think this incident goes beyond that by saying a little more about our country than someone “disrespecting” our nation. I think he is attempting to take a stand any way he possibly can. The saying “no publicity is bad publicity,” is exemplified perfectly here. Our nation is heading in a particularly negative direction, and there is a group of educated people in this country, like Kaepernick, that truly cannot fathom the thought of America arriving at the destination it’s headed.

      • Julian Kirk

        I personally think he should have spoken out for sure at whatever time he felt right but I still believe he went about it the wrong way. The way he did it causes a lot of controversial talk which is not always bad but it could have been avoided by just speaking out and getting others to speak out as well.

  • starsfromabove

    I think that people should have an oppurtunity to express their opinions where ever they wish to do so. Considering the large amount of violence happening in America, I think expressing one’s opinions where many are present will help advocate the issue. Also in America, we have the right to express our own beliefs and Kaepernick is abiding to his natural rights as an American citizen.

    • Thomas

      He might be abiding to his rights, but his defense is horrible. His claim is that he’s doing it for black lives matter, and yet the same flag he refuses to stand for has been the same flag that black men and women have been giving their lives to, in one way or another, for over two hundred years.

  • bgirl272

    I definitely think that athletes should use their fame to point out critical issues in society. As athletes they have an incredible opportunity to have their voices heard. I feel as if anyone that is famous should in fact take stands for those of us that can’t have our voices heard. Even if sometimes their opinions may be misguided, them talking about it only generates more knowledge for everyone and recognition of different topics that a lot of people need to talk about. That is the only way to bring about change. Celebrities have a huge impact on society no matter what, so I feel they should use their position to positively influence their fans. http://www.teenink.com/opinion/entertainment_celebrities/article/82342/Celebrities-and-Their-Influence/

    • Nicholas Feeley

      I agree that celebrities and athletes are in a great position to speak out. Most people will never get to have a platform like that to express their ideas. It just is unfortunate that many of them do not use it. I understand that many of them fear losing sponsors and fans but in the end if its something they believe in they should go for it. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowKaepernick

  • Alisha

    Athletes, celebrities and public figures with the power and privilege to have their voice heard should always use it. Just because Kaepernick is a professional athlete, it should not mean that he cannot voice his opinion. And while people, like myself, may not necessarily agree with the course of action he took, it does not matter. He should not be punished for his decision to use his voice, but rather commended. If all celebrities used their fame and power to make change like Kaepernick is trying to, we could have more people who care. Here is a link to show more examples of athletes in the past who have tried to use their fame for the better: http://time.com/3612148/photos-athletes-political-demonstrations/.
    #MyCMSTArgs

    • Thomas

      I’m not saying he should be punished for his actions, but I AM saying that he should have chosen another way to represent the #blacklivesmatter movement. Disrespecting the men and women of every race who have fought for the flag that he refuses to sit for and wearing socks with pigs in police uniform on the field is NOT the way to get your point across.

    • TJ

      I wholly agree. No matter what your opinion on his actions, his right to make his statement is far more fundamental to this country than any song or even the flag itself. You may agree or disagree with him, but to attack him for making a statement is wrong. We need to encourage people to speak up for others, not punish them.

      #MyCMSTArgs

    • Ben LI

      I totally agree, I believe kaepernick is voicing his opinion which everyone should have the right to do. If kaepernick is punish then we should step up for him like he is for the black community.

    • starsfromabove

      I agree with your statement because Kaepernick is not abusing any of his rights as an American citizen. He is only expressing his personal opinion by taking a stance in today’s violent society. Making a political statement in a public environment is not only powerful, but also very empowering.

  • Kim Cuong Nguyen

    Athletes have the right to call attention to issues in society or points they want to address, especially if it’s in America because they are able to because they have the right to freedom of speech and expression. When any public figure such as athletes, singers, or politicians speak out about particular issues, they get the public attention directed to such issues. This means that they are able to spread awareness in societal flaws. That is why I think it is great when public figures use their fame to call attention to certain issues. In addition, I don’t think Kaepernick was offensive in deciding to not stand for the national anthem because he has the right to do so. What’s great about America is that people have the right to freedom of expression and sitting down for the national anthem is a form of expression. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowKaepernick http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Colin-Kaepernick-and-other-pro-athletes-pay-a-9196376.php

    • Michael Mongillo

      I agree that they may have the right to do so, but every athlete on a public platform doesn’t have ethical views on today topics. just because he/she/it/they has the right to speak freely, doesn’t mean he/she/it/they should start making public speeches about legalizing marijuana during the Superbowl. Political debates should be left in the hands of people who are willing to accept all angles of the problem, not just the one influencing themselves. #DoNowKaepernick #MyCSMTArgs

  • K. Smith

    I believe that everyone has a right to voice their opinion regardless of whether or not they are in the public eye. Athletes happen to not only get an a large amount of attention, but they also receive a lot of criticism when they speak out about their positions on certain issues. Personally, an athletes first job is to do what they practice, sweat, and sacrifice for – play the game that they love. Along the way if they are passionate about a specific issue then why shouldn’t they be allowed to express themselves. Just because athletes, actors, artists, etc. are seen as celebrities doesn’t mean they should shut their mouths, while the rest of us get to enjoy openly making claims about things we think are important. #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowKaepernick

  • TragicRealist
  • Thomas

    I believe that certain topics are fair ground but blatantly disrespecting them and claiming your stance on it is wrong

  • TJ

    I believe it is tremendously significant that he and all people with access to large audiences be able to speak freely, which includes standing (or sitting) in protest against American standards. Many of these issues are isolated to local communities, regions, states, etc. yet require the will of those beyond those groups or regions to push for action. This swaying of the masses is often beyond the capabilities of the suffering peoples, but well within the capabilities of celebrities and other prominent individuals. It is therefore important that these people be allowed to address these issues publicly and take a stand on them.

    Case in point, the so-called “John Oliver Effect” (http://time.com/3674807/john-oliver-net-neutrality-civil-forfeiture-miss-america/). Whether or not we can directly credit John Oliver with the decisions related to each of these circumstances is debatable, but what’s important is that many of these issues are brought to public awareness through Oliver’s decision to designate his airtime to talking about them. The same goes for Kaepernick, who decided to use his time in the public eye to draw awareness to an issue that concerns him. Perhaps if he had built a hit comedy show around his issue he might have drawn the ire of youtubers as opposed to the scorn of “patriotic America”.

    • Chris Moreland

      While yes, voicing one’s opinion and displaying their stance on the issue is a right that show be defended, there are certain ways to go about it. The “scorn of patriotic America” as you put it isnt derived from him voicing his opinion, but rather the way he went about it. There are many different examples I could give to show similarities, ranging from atrocious acts by powerful Governments to small shows of protest by lesser organizations, but all of them show the same result. There are certain ways to show your disatisfaction, and disrespecting a country as a whole isnt the way to go aout it.

  • Chris Moreland

    While I agree that everyone has a right to voice their opinions and disagreements with issues, there is a certain way to go about it. Generalizing a target will no doubt bring scorn from one side or another, and therefore when you protest an issue, you should have a firmer base to stand on. Besides that, I feel that he is making the entire Government out to be at fault for the issue he is protesting, when in all honesty, it is due to a few (I know it still seems like alot but statistically speaking) out of the group who are the root of these issues. Another issue, is that when vocalizing (or in this case physically showing) your dissatisfaction with an issue, you still should be respectful to everyone. Interpretation is everything when it comes to being seen by the masses. And most would interpret Kaepernick’s actions as blatantly disrespectful to our country. He should rather show love for the country, and use that as a background for his reasoning rather than just saying what he did. #DoNowKaepernick #MyCSMTArgs

    • Michael Mongillo

      I agree, everyone else brings up the fact that Kaepernick has the right to do so, but does he even consider the men and women who gave their life to make it that way? Maybe people who are willing to accept both sides of the story are more qualified at making political statements then he is. #DoNowKaepernick #MyCSMTArgs

  • Michael Mongillo

    I agree that everyone should be entitled to speak freely, but using a position of popularity to spread political debates around is going to far in my opinion. When it comes down to it, i support a football player because he has the ability to run a ball, or make a play happen, not make public statements about politics. Every situation has a time and place to be dealt with accordingly, and trying to persuade fans into a way of thinking just because they have your team jersey just doesn’t make sense to me. Hopefully the fans of popular figures in society understand that they can support a player without support that players beliefs. so in my opinion i don’t believe these people are in the right place to discuss political statements. #DoNowKaepernick #MyCSMTArgs

  • Devin Morris

    I think that athletes, just as any other citizen of the United States, has the right to exercise their constitutional rights of free speech. If someone has a strong opinion towards social and political issues, they should be free to raise awareness on it.Colin Kaepernick is not the first famous athlete to stand up against racism in America and will likely not be the last. #Kaepernick #MyCMSTArgs

    • Jodi DeMassa

      I agree that athletes should have the right to free speech as well. I also think that it’s a good idea for althetes to speak out about certain issues to start a discussion. It allows for more public awareness. #MyCMSTArgs

      • Sue Peterson

        That has definitely been the case in this instance Jodi. The conversation about race and policing had fell off the radar of mainstream media, but Kaepernick has definitely succeeded in getting it back into the conversation!

    • Sue Peterson

      I absolutely agree with you Devin. I think it is interesting how much backlash this particular act is generating with fans, while other players who are accused (and sometimes convicted) of criminal acts do not seem to spur any negative reactions from the fans. We have a lot of emotion tied up in our patriotic “acts”, but we often ignore what those acts represent symbolically.

  • Jaxon Sawyer

    I think athletes should use their public platform to make political statements because America is surrounded by sports and people will listen to and notice athletes. The average middle to low class citizen of America would not be listened to even on very important matters like police shootings.

    • Andrew DG.

      Absolutely Jaxon, athletes are able to use their status in society to bring more attention to topics like these. But not only athletes, celebrities, like actors and singers can draw light to controversial topics like these. I believe that us middle-to-low class citizens depend on athletes and celebrities to show our concern and views on these subjects.

  • Christine Nguyen

    Athletes should use their public platform to make political statements because if a regular citizen addressed the problem, no one would care/listen. But since athletes aren’t regular citizens, people will listen to them because they are famous. Also, Americans have been racist to others, but won’t admit the fact that there is racism in America. #DoNowKaepernick

  • Natalie Kong

    I think that athletes should use their platform to bring awareness to social issues AND focus on the sport they’re playing. I think that athletes should do both because since they are “famous”, people will listen to them and they can make a difference, but I also think that they should focus on the sport they’re playing because sometimes if you speak your mind it could cause more trouble.

  • Charlie Gordon

    Professional athletes should be able to use their public platform in order to make political statements. In America, we have freedom of speech and this is a form of speech. However, they are in the entertainment industry. They are supported by their fans. They run the risk of their fans no longer supporting them, if they disagree with their statements. This could have an impact on the amount of money their teams make. So, although they have a big audience to talk to, this could impact their business and it is their job. Their employers have a right to fire them if they lose money for them! They can protest, but they run the risk of losing their jobs–perhaps the price to pay!

  • Andrew Dang

    Professional athletes should be able to use their public platform to make social or political statements. Our first amendment is the freedom of religion, speech, and press, so they should be entitled to their own opinion. Also, athletes shouldn’t be punished differently for their actions. They are humans too. Famous people should not get away with things a regular person could not. But on the flip side, famous people shouldn’t be punished more than an average person for the same actions.

  • James Cordy

    Professional athletes/celebrities shouldn’t take to their professions to talk about their views on certain area’s of America like politics because people aren’t watching a concert or game for politics, they are watching the game for well, the game. If anything an athlete should take this view to social media and speak his or her mind there.

  • Derek Luu

    Professional athletes should be able to use their public platform to make social or political statements to point out their opinion/s or just to raise awareness on a matter. I believe that athletes should be able to state their opinion/s because one of the strongest rules in America is that anyone has the freedom of speech and opinion, so just like any normal citizen athletes have the right to state their point on anything, but that doesn’t mean that you have to follow them or agree with them, everyone has the freedom to believe what they want to believe in.

  • Aziza Bey

    I think athletes should use their platform to bring awareness to social issues because they act as a representative for the people and for the cause. Regular citizens like us are barely noticed anywhere. All we do in our lives is run our errands and regular routines. If any of us have something important to say, by the media or society, our opinion is dismissed. Athletes, or other celebrities, help by using their platform to gain attention and make more people aware of the social issues we need to fix. Although they do need to focus on their sport, I think athletes should input their statements out there, but also be aware of their reputation, since it may damage the cause. Overall, athletes are being helpful by bringing awareness to social issues.

  • Valentina Valverde

    Professional athletes should be able to use their public platform to make social or political statements because they have the same right to freedom of speech as any other citizen in the United States. Celebrities and athletes are more likely to raise awareness on an issue than an average person, and they should use that power to try to fix the problems that affect our country. No matter what side you stand on, you should be able to voice your opinions without being threatened or intimidated.

  • Nancy Nguyen

    I believe that professional athletes should be able to use their public platform to make social or political statements because they represent people and causes. If an average person were to tell the media about a current situation, they wouldn’t be notice and overlooked. Since athletes and celebrities have so much access to the media and attention of others, they would have an even bigger impact than our words alone. I can also agree that in some cases making these statements may not be appropriate for show. When Kaepernick didn’t stand for the National Anthem, it was disrespectful towards that have fought to defend our country. So professional athletes should be about to make their statements because they have freedom of speech, but there are other, more respectful, ways of sending their message.

  • Ethan Yi

    I think public figures like athletes should be able to use their pubic platform(s) to make statements because athletes are people too, and they should be able to share their thoughts. Although, athletes are there to play a game for a sport, they are just merely expressing their mind and that is what freedom of speech is about. Also, the publicity of the players are much more higher than an average citizen and they will be noticed more than people. However, if a famous figure pushes the limit too much, they might be stuck with consequences even more troublesome then the average person, so they should be careful! They should also focus on what they are doing, but as long as the player does not damage him/herself, I believe that they should be able to speak their mind out.

  • Vivian Thai

    While I do undeniably believe that athletes should be able to use their own public platform(s) to share awareness and statements about their own thoughts, they should also come to respect whether it would be a correct time to. One does not just stand up and make a statement about their own problems while another one is being discussed. There is the freedom of speech that our forefathers had wanted for us, but there is power in it, and with that power comes responsibility. A responsibility to be able to respect ones own opinion and matter, but is not entitled to. I believe that being able to focus on their sport and speak up for matters when deemed right is quite remarkable and others should respect that.

  • Naajiha

    I believe that public figures such as sports stars should have a voice in political debates. These athletes have a strong public platform, and they should use it to voice their opinion. Athletes such as Kaepernick used their public platforms to do just that, it is important for athletes to use their public platform because these athletes all have different political views. These political views athletes have, are shared amongst other Americans who don’t have as big a public platform and cannot voice their opinion as strongly. Kaepernick just exercised the rights of freedom of speech. His political standpoint and being able to voice his opinion is a right he has as an American, and I feel he brought a topic needed to be talked about into the spotlight.

  • Gabriel Yankulin

    I believe athletes should use their public platform to make political statements since they are looked up to by many people, but there is a time and place for these actions, and during the pledge of allegiance or national anthem is definitely not the time to protest.

  • Georgia Kerford

    I think as people athletes have every right to speak up about public affairs. When they became an athlete they became an athlete with the intent to do well at their sport, but becoming an athlete did not take their right to opinion and speech away. It’s a contradiction to free speech to take athlete’s right to speak their opinion. As head figures in media and among people their opinions influence other people and could potentially be very important.

  • Kyle

    I believe that athletes such as Kaepernick should use their platform to make political statements that are important for our nation. As long as the statement is good and well intended, it should be up to the player as to how they bring attention to the subject. Kaepernick knows that he can gather the most attention by kneeling during the national anthem because it would be dramatic and would grab the media’s attention. He knows that there would only be small audience if he were to have spoken during the press conference since most viewers don’t care for or watch it. For this reason, it is justified that Kaepernick kneeled during the National Anthem.

  • Beatriz Go

    I think athletes are allowed to use their public platform to make political statements because they can bring awareness to a lot of things. Every person has the right to express their own ideas so athletes such as Kaepernick should be allowed to freely do so without being attacked for standing up for what he believes in. Since many people look up to a lot of athletes and one day aspire to be like them, them taking a stand for what they believe in could inspire many people to do so in the future as well.

  • Tara Casey

    I think all people, including professional athletes have the right to express their opinions on current political topics. They are just as human as the rest of us. Athletes only represent their team for a certain number of hours each day and for the rest of the day they represent themselves just like everyone else. They should use their opinion and knowledge to inform others but not force their opinions on people.

  • Rainah Smith

    I believe that athletes should use their public platform to make political statements and bring awareness to social issues. I believe this is the best idea for spreading the message because so many people look up to professional athletes not just in the NFL, but also in other sports associations. Since Kaepernick has been kneeling during the national anthem, other football teams from other high schools have been deciding to do the exact same thing. This public platform can attract a large and younger audience as well as an older one. I think that it is important to reach the younger viewers because they are a part of our future and they need to understand what is happening now to change it later. I also think that athletes should be able to make these political statements because they are human beings and have the right to freedom of speech. Just because they are on a professional team, does not mean that their rights can be taken away.

  • Justin Lee

    I think that they should make political statements if that’s what they believe in. I think that athletes should speak out about issues that bothers them. They have the rights to say what they want. If they believe that an issue is very important, they should speak out about it. Kaepernick is stating his opinion and taking action. He’s trying to bring awareness to a social issue that he believes is very important. Being an athlete/public figure shouldn’t stop them from saying what they believe in. Everyone has a voice.

  • Donovan Draper

    It really depends on how the athletes use it. If it’s through deeds and changing how a community acts or thinks towards subjects, then I am all for it. But if you are disrespecting the national anthem and the flag that 100 of thousands of people have died for, then I am more than against it. I know some Vets and some troops that are Active Duty and they feel absolutely disrespected and they are more than against on HOW he is doing it. They think the message behind it is good, but how he is doing it and how many other athletes alike are doing it, is just disrespect. If he did more action such as going to a state prison like how Kevin Durant and Draymond Green did to talk with the inmates there and see how they stand on how America is, he would have so much more respect. But if you are sitting down for something that people stand up for and even die for, then that is NOT what you do. Activists like MLK, you never saw them burn the flag or disrespect the National Anthem, they went against racism and stood up for the oppressed. They didn’t attack what other people believed and and loved, they went for the rights they wanted back. Back to the subject, as I said before, it really depends on the action the celebrity does. Again, if its respectful and it’s making a message straightforward and understandable, then I think most people would support it. But if it’s disrespecting other people’s beliefs, then that would create more controversy and instead of people focusing on the problem, they would be focusing more on what the people are doing and the actions they are taking up. Again, celebrities should be able to focus both on whats going on in the world and their careers.

  • Bridget Laffey

    I believe that athletes can use their public platform to make political statements and/or bring awareness to social issues, but that doesn’t mean they necessary should. The first Amendment states we have freedom of speech and the right to peacefully protest. This is exactly what Kaepernick is doing. He is using his fame to spread his opinion. Personally, I don’t agree with the manner of his actions. Kaepernick could have done it in a completely different way. Kneeling during the National Anthem not only offends police officers, but it offends America as a whole. Kaepernick could have held a press conference or tweeted his opinions and people still would have noticed. Yes I understand that police officers have made several serious mistakes, but people seem to forget the good that police officers do. They seem to forget that in times of need the police officers risk their lives for the protection of the people, as we saw in the Dallas shooting. In the end, I believe that everyone has the freedom of speech and the right to peacefully protest, but that doesn’t mean I agree with their beliefs.

  • Anna Kretzer

    No, athletes shouldn’t be able to use their platform to bring awareness to social issues. First and foremost, this is because athletes do not know how to properly address these social issues in a way that is both clear and respectful. For example, when Colin Kaepernick wore a pair of socks with pigs dressed as cops on them, he was basically saying that all cops are bad. This is not true. There are many cops who work very hard to make sure that the communities that they serve are safe and secure. Everyone has the right to freedom of speech, but everyone must also be careful of what they say and how they say it.

  • McKenzie Hernandez

    I believe athletes should use their public platform to make political statements and talk about social issues to a certain extent. Though Kaepernick is not the star athlete he was three years ago, his way of protesting was peaceful and brought attention to a topic that needed to be discussed. When Kaepernick sat down during the national anthem many people were very mad thinking that he didn’t respect his country. I believe when he did this it was a way to publicly show his opinion and bring the discussion of black lives matter up. I believe it was unnecessary when Kaepernick wore socks with pigs in police hats. This was unnecessary because most people know not all police officers are power hungry and bad people.

  • Brendan Zhou

    Athletes should have the ability to make political statements through their public platform and raise awareness about social inequalities. Since they have strong public influence over many people, their message would spread like wildfire, whether their statements are accepted or rejected. According to the First Amendment, all citizens have the right to freedom of speech and expression, so athletes, like Colin Kaepernick, are correct to stand up for what they believe in. Everybody is entitled to his or her own opinions on any issue or problem, no matter if it is complimentary or derogatory.

    #DoNowKaepernick #phillipsush

  • David Liang

    In my opinion, I think athletes should be using their public platform to make political statements, but not in the way Colin Kaepernick did. For example, Kaepernick’s choice of kneeling during the National Anthem was probably not the best choice to raise awareness, instead he should have done it during a public and popular event like Lebron James and Dwayne Wade did at the Sports Emmy’s last May or create a post on social media such as Instagram on his stance since he has over a million followers. Athletes are paid to play, not paid to protest. As a former football player, I learned that I am on the field to play, not mess around and I feel the same about Kaepernick. He should be focusing on the game and set his political views aside.

  • Matthew Dean

    They are entitled to their opinion as citizens and they should be allowed to voice their opinions before a game, after, or possibly during. Especially in situations such as what Colin Kaepernick did, when he chose to sit during the national anthem. His other choices for protesting may have been seen as offensive or wrong, and I agree with that especially the pig socks. However, with a silent and non violent protest, all athletes should be allowed to express their opinions because they are still citizens.

  • Sally Ma

    I think that athletes should use their platform to bring awareness to social issues because a lot of times, these social issues tend to be ignored. With the popularity they have, it brings awareness to the issue and it would make it more difficult to ignore these issues. It also educates those who are ignorant of a certain issue. Obviously, these athletes will receive backlash for their protest, but when does it never happen? There will always be at least one person to disagree with you no matter what you do. What matters is that the athletes, who are also humans and have freedom of speech, are taking a stand with what they believe in.

  • Gabrielle Garlow

    I believe professional athletes should use their political platform to bring awareness to social issues. Though I believe Colin Kaepernick’s intention was right and awareness about police brutality and to support black lives matter is important. I do not agree with the way he protested. It was good that he was being very peaceful in the way he went about it. I personally believe he should be out there with his team even if he is kneeling. But he is being paid to play on a team, he should be out there with them not sitting on the bench with his head down. He is using his public platform to show what he believes in, and he is being a voice outlet for all of those who are not being heard. My only question is, if Kaepernick did not have the platform would he still be trying to make a public stance? Or is he only doing is because he has his public platform?

  • Sami Nazzal

    I believe they should focus more on playing their sport because that is their job and that’s how they make money, and this career will determine their future. The better you play the more money you make and it determines how long you will play for and have this job for. But I also believe it’s their choice to make political statements, if they feel like there is something in this country that needs to be fixed, then addressing this would be a good thing to do because it will get in the public and people would find out about things that has been happening in their country but they never knew about it until this because there are so much more people either watching sports or on social media and it would be so easy for them to see what happened. Because so many people in America watch sports I feel like athletes putting their opinions out there would be a good idea because it will get out farther quicker, since of social media these days.

  • Jack Sinkovitz

    Professional athletes nowadays have a solid figure in today’s social standings and often have a big voice in everything socially related. The matter at hand in today’s social debates, black lives matter, is a serious issue and should be addressed by big figures like Colin Kaepernick. The freedom of speech is a valuable privilege us Americans wield, but using that freedom of speech to not only totally disrespect the police officers who sacrifice their time, effort, and sometimes their state of human nature and their lives to protect people from crimes, and show no respect to the nation you believe in and live in is outrageous. Colin’s actions have showed many of his fans that it is okay to disrespect the nation they live under to prove a point, and while it is legal, it is extremely disrespectful, and the men and women who serve to make this nation what it is today should not be shown negative gestures towards others actions. Colin Kaepernick should have held a debate, rally, or some form or social gathering or made a strong general point to the media and I would have been fully behind him. Disrespecting police officers and the nation itself that I fully respect and abide by is not acceptable and is a bad way to send a message across. Colin Kaepernick used his social power to influence many other athletes, fans, and others following this social problem that disrespecting the nation we stand under and the people who work to make it a better and safer place is okay.

  • Emma

    I think athletes in general have a high social platform, meaning that a lot of people listen to what they say. Because of this Kaepernick and other athletes should take in consideration what they do and say very seriously. In my personal opinion I think Kaepernicks decision to sit down during the national anthem was selfish and didn’t show insight to black lives matter but instead focused on him. He didn’t consider the consequences of his actions on the matter he just did what he thought was right without taking other opinions into consideration. I think because athletes have such a huge social platform, it is a great way for other people to get involved in social issues but it can easily turn in the opposite direction and cause a dispute.

  • Amanda Lee

    Athletes should definitely use their public platform to make political statements and bring awareness to social issues because that’s how the audience can be inspired. Athletes, especially those who are more popular than others, should speak out their opinions so many people can join in solidarity. I believe that Colin Kaepernick’s intention was right, but I don’t quite believe it was the best approach to carry out his opinion. Overall, this protest was quite effective in a way because it harmed no one and was very peaceful. Taking a knee or sitting down doesn’t necessarily mean he intended to disrespect the country. He’s only trying to use his public platform to effectively carry out what he strongly believes in. In a way, he is a big public figure, speaking out for the ones not being heard. Kaepernick is part of the team, and it is very unfair if he is kicked out, just for speaking out his thought because in America, we have the freedom of speech.

  • Sasha Gonzales (Alexandra)

    Athletes have a high social status in our society. They get a lot of attention from the media and the press through pictures they post or press confrences. Athletes promote different things such as sports drinks, clothing, or lifestyle changes. Fans tend to follow these trends that the athlete is promoting. Colin Kaepernick sitting during the national anthem is the most talked about topic in sports coverage right now. He felt that the justices and liberties of the African-American community were being violated. The national anthem is supposed to represent the country and its citizen as having freedom. Kaepernick showed that he is in opposition of the police brutality and violence that is being targeted at minorities by not standing during the national anthem before games. This brought a lot of attention to him because there were thousands of people at the game to witness this at the game and a large amount of press, fans, and sports commentaters that started conversating about this. Because of their social status, athletes should use their social status or popularity to bring awareness to issues that our happening now. They should also consider the time and place they are doing it because right before a proffesional game, for example, might not be the best time or place to bring attention to this.

  • Areon Mitchell

    I think they should use their public platform because everyone is watching them and looking up to them, so it’s easy to state their opinion on how they feel about things going on in our society. They should think over what they plan on saying/doing but they have every right to stand up to what they believe in at any given time. For instance, I think what Kaepernick did was a good time because everyone is watching and will get his message he’s trying to send. Even though some people looked at as him disrespecting america. That isn’t his intention.

  • Madison Armstrong

    I think athletes should use their public platform to make political statements to bring awareness to social issues because they have a platform that many people don’t have and want to be able to bring awareness to a certain issue. They should take advantage of the attention, influence, and awareness they have to address the issues important to them that aren’t getting enough attention that they should be getting. This will help people get informed about the issues they didn’t know that were happening and understand why these issues are so important. Athletes shouldn’t just focus on playing their sport because they have so much more exposure to voice their beliefs on issues than a regular person, who if protested, wouldn’t have as much effect as a well-known person. It was very effective for Kaepernick to kneel during the National Anthem to support the Black Lives Matter issue because he brought so much attention to himself that caused controversy, but people should understand that this issue should be addressed. He wasn’t necessary disrespecting the flag when he kneeled, but the time he sat down it was an action that sparked people’s attention because you shouldn’t sit during the National Anthem, at least show some what respect, even if it’s just a little. Also, people shouldn’t be so worked up on him kneeling during the National Anthem because in the first amendment it says that everyone has the freedom to protest for their beliefs and that’s what he did.

  • Christopher McDonagh

    I disagree with the means Kaepernick chose to make the stand. He could have done multiple things to show he wanted to make a difference, he could have still used the media and got them just as involved, as well as an actual action like Doug Baldwins.

  • Dylan Kiely

    I believe that a player should not protest our national anthem. It is a our flag, our country, and a nation that should be respected. I fully support the act of ending social racism in our world but disrespecting the flag is unnecessary. There are better ways to go about protesting his opinion instead of sitting during the national anthem. It isn’t against the law to sit and it isn’t against the law to voice your opinion in this specific way but colin isn’t doing anything else to support his views. Other NFL players are taking action by visiting police headquarters to talk about police training but he isn’t.

  • Theo Malliaras

    I strongly agree with the stand Colin Kaepernick is making. With sports being one of the most popular forms of entertainment in America, and Colin Kaepernick being a top player, he is using that to his advantage. Professional athletes have many fans who look up to them. By doing this Kaepernick has influenced many people and helped other people make a stand about this huge problem. If a regular person did the same thing as Kaepernick, they would be taking a stand for to benefit themselves and it wouldn’t attract as much attention. Kaepernick is doing it for himself, but he just happens to be a very popular person in America, so he brought a lot of attention to it.

  • Justin Geronimo

    To me, I think it is a brilliant idea that athletes should use their public platform to make political statements. Athletes such as Kaepernick have the right to protest just like anybody else in America. They were not doing anything wrong but sitting out the national anthem. It is a quiet protest, but at the same time a very controversial one. People may think that he doesn’t respect our veterans who have served for the country, however Colin is ultimately standing up for the innocent people who have lost their lives and all people of color. In result of him protesting during the national anthem, multiple athletes and normal human beings have began to protest as well which shows Kaepernick is starting to make a change in the world. He inspired others who were scared to speak out, to actually go and speak whatever is on their mind now which is a good thing. We were all given the freedom of speech and Colin is just using it to the best of his advantage. I hope these protests can essentially make a huge change in the world because we desperately need one.

  • Nayiri Ayanian

    I believe that athletes should use their public platform to make political statements and/or bring awareness to social issues. They are known to play a certain sport, however they also have their individual beliefs and should be able to use their fame to voice them out. Even though I believe that athletes should use their public platform to make political statements, I also believe that Colin Kaepernick did go about it in the right way or the right time. Every athlete has the right to freedom of speech and of course they should focus on sports, but they should also be able to voice their opinion on political statements. Being so famous, they are given an advantage to be heard and I believe they should take advantage of that to help better our communities and country.

  • SydneyJane Shia

    First, I was on the disagree side in this discussion. The image in my head that led to this decision is because I primarily thought that usually athletes as well as other celebrities don’t usually make political statements. And, if they did, many would use it in a negative way. However, as the long discussion in my history class went on, I feel that I am shifted towards the agree side. I now believe that athletes should use their public platform to make public statements and bring awareness to social issues. This is because Athletes should be able to do whatever they want to do due to their freedom of speech in their Bill of Rights. Also, the way they display their political statements don’t have to be negative at all. Ultimately, anyone, as a individual, can be able to speak his/her own mind. Athletes have a lot of fame along with their skilled abilities, so I think that athletes can use their public platform to make political statements in a respectable manner.

  • Jana Chism

    I think that athletes should use their public platform to make political statements and/ or bring awareness to social issues because by doing this it gives other people hope and encourages those who don’t have a voice to speak up and out against what they believe in. I think by Colin Kaepernick doing what he did, was not a selfish act at all, it may seem to have appeared that way but it isn’t at all. There is a difference between being standing up for what you believe in, and being ignorant and selfish in the way you choose to do so. In today’s society, they want us to believe that racism is over almost like it doesn’t exist, and that we are all equal. If we were all equal and racism didn’t really exist, then why are people constantly being discriminated against daily by the color of their skin, their ethnicity, where they come from, etc. I think by him taking a stance it shows that nothing has changed, there is still violence, innocent people lose their lives over pointless matters, and so on. At the same time, the manner in which you stand up for what you believe in, should be respectful and professional because you never know who is watching you and the people watching might look up to you, so they manner in which you handle the situation matters. If someone sees that you handled the situation in a certain way, they might be influenced by you and think that it is right for them to do the same and act in the same way. Athletes play a big role in today’s society, and they have a certain image, how they see themselves and how others see them as well.

  • Gianna Sozzi

    I think that athletes are much more than the sport they play. Just because someone’s job is playing a sport, does not mean they don’t have the right to have a political opinion. The public platform of an athlete is a huge part of their life, therefore it’s hard to voice social issues without the public knowing. Also, if they did not use their public platform, there would be no point in protesting and voicing their opinion, because no one would hear it. Someone who protests is trying to bring awareness to the issue, as this is the whole reason behind protesting. Athletes should focus on playing their sport, but there is no reason why they can’t say what they think about issues that are important to them. Being an athlete does not take away your freedom of expression.

  • Hannah Daijo

    Initially I thought, It’s fine for athletes to use their celebrity to promote their opinions or political statements. It may even be a good thing. But as I thought more, I realized this could actually be a bad thing. In an ideal world, yes, an athlete would and should be able to focus solely on their sport and performing well. But because we don’t live in an ideal world, it’s near impossible for a professional athlete to be on such a large public platform and not express any statement (especially when companies with their own political statements endorse the athlete). However, if the athlete has a lot of celebrity, as Colin Kaepernick does, and makes a public political statement, the athlete and his/her action or statement embody the movement (s)he is representing; furthermore, the purpose of the movement can get lost amidst the noise. Also, applying DeTocqueville’s assertion in this context, the celebrity athlete’s opinion essentially represents that of the majority, even if this isn’t necessarily true (because (s)he has such a large platform, that one person’s opinion outweighs that of an individual “nonentity”). The more obscure but equally important aspects of the movement all but disappear. So essentially, unless the professional athlete’s opinion matches perfectly that of the movement and the action is completely uncontroversial, the drawbacks of making such a statement mostly outweigh the advantages.

  • Brian Chang

    I think athletes should use their public platform to make political statements and bring awareness to social issues because that is the only way they can get people’s attention. If they were to post on social media, not everyone will pay attention to it. Some people do not go on social media that often and will miss the issue. If the athletes made political statements on live television, like Colin Kaepernick, people will start to pay attention. Each individual player on a team has their own rights. If they want to sit or kneel during the national anthem, it is their decision. Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest did not harm anyone, but it was to make a statement that everyone should focus on. Athletes should focus on their sport, but that does not mean that they do not have the say of whatever is going on in society. They are not controlled robots.

  • Carter Kwong

    Under the United States Constitution, every American citizen the right to freedom of speech. Clearly, professional American athletes are American citizens as well. Therefore, they too, should have the right to make political statements or bring awareness to social issues. Everyday people are not restricted from speaking their mind, so neither should professional athletes. I think that those who are often in the spotlight should use their publicity to inform the public about certain issues. Many people have no motivation to take action when an unknown CEO tells them to recycle. However, when their favorite athlete delivers the same message, people take the matter into consideration.

  • Andres Cruz

    I believe that athletes should not use their public platform to make political statements or bring awareness to social issues. Although I recognize that athletes, as American citizens, have a constitutional right to voice their opinion I don’t think it’s a great idea. Their main job is to play the sport they are being paid a large amount of money they play. A lot of time sports require commitment around the year, leaving athletes little time to educate themselves on political or social issues. Many times their fame gets in the way. People often end up talking about the means the celebrity took to make the issue known, instead of the actual issue.

  • Kyle Pring

    I think that athletes should use their public platform to make political statements and bring awareness to social issues. Athletes are also citizens, and they have the freedom of speech. Athletes are make an impact on society on and off the field. They should make political statements or social issues using their public platforms because it emphasizes the importance of the issue. Citizens who admire these athletes would have more inspiration to act on these social issues. These citizens would say to themselves, “If these athletes act, I should be able to act.” These athletes should use their platform to make these statements because it sets an example for the younger generation. It shows others that they should exercise their freedom of speech. Their public platform enables athletes to send a stronger message to the public. Colin Kaepernick sets a great example because he uses his platform to emphasize that racial injustice is a significant problem in America. The main message is that their popularity helps athletes inspire the public to act on the various issues that this country faces.

  • MatthewM

    I believe that ideally athletes should only focus on playing their sports, that athletes should have no political power, and that there wouldn’t be a need to make any political statements, but there are too many problems that don’t get enough attention and athletes are in the position to take a game-changing stance on these issues. Kaepernick made an efficient choice using a popular event to garner attention around an issue that may have been ignored. Athletes having more power politically than others is just a sad fact of the times, the best solution is to make use of these powers to provide change in a positive (for the majority) direction. I have absolutely no issue with Kaepernick’s use of the national anthem as a political statement because it was desperately needed, and that takes precedence over something as worthless as a display of respect. Kaepernick’s response just makes sense (to denounce a nation that fails its citizens through a display of disrespect). We need people who can make a difference and stand up for these issues, when public outcry is not enough.

  • Neriah

    Athletes should be able to have the right to use their public platform to make political statements and bring awareness to social issues but they should do it in a way that is handled in a professional matter without disrespecting. I don’t mind what Kaepernick did but I personally do not agree with what he did. There are many ways to voice his opinion to a large audience without disrespecting what the American flag stands for. The Constitution does say that we are entitled to freedom of speech but that right is basically regarded if you’re disrespecting where it came from. Sure it’s unfair that these people were targeted specifically because of their race but that’s always going to happen. That’s how society is and there isn’t really changing that. We can try and stop it but it’s never going to be fully solved. There are a lot of other similar situations that have the same amount of times they’ve happened but they aren’t getting the same amount of awareness. I’m not saying this because I don’t like him, I just don’t agree with his actions,

  • Gustavo R

    I think that athletes should use their public platform to make political statements because some social issues are not being focus on, which makes what Kaepernick did a great thing. Focusing on playing the sport is a part of what they should do, but they should have a right way of thinking. Kaepernick has not just been the only athlete that has protested about this, in fact in sport history many great figures/idols have protested. If we think about this correctly most of the people who are actually questioning the law enforcement would not have been if Kaepernick had not sat while the national anthem is playing. Slavery, racism, segregation is a great part of US History. What Kaepernick is doing it has been protested many times before in bigger and smaller movements, but it has been pushed aside many times with false commitments.

  • Robert Gallardo

    Athletes should be allowed to protest, just like any other U.S. citizen. Since they have such a large influence because of their public standing, they have to be responsible about anything they do. Kaepernick’s protest is responsible, because it does not promote violence, but it is also effective, by provoking emotion he gets people who otherwise would not care about the problem discussing it (like this discussion).

  • Leroy Ng

    Although many would disagree with my opinion, I think that athletes have rights that allow them to use their public platform to bring awareness to our countries issues. Let’s put it this way. Millions of people watch sports games daily/weekly depending on the sport. After the games, many sports figures have talked about the “black lives matter” on TV. However, if you polled those millions of people, I am definitely sure that more than fifty percent will say that they don’t watch those press conferences live. When Colin Kaepernick sat on the bench that first preseason, he was showing his opinion in actions. After all, there is that saying, “actions are stronger than words.” Kaepernick understood that words have not been making a huge effect in this matter and decided to take things one notch up.

  • Martin Block 3

    Athletes should not use their platform to raise social awareness right before a game, as Colin Kaepernick does by kneeling before the national anthem. It’s definitely okay for athletes to express their opinions on these issues,but right before a game is bad timing. It takes away from the anticipation of the game and it’s simply a distraction. The athletes are also representing their organization so it can make it appear as they are reflecting the views of the entire team and front office. The best times to express awareness over social issues is not right before the game, as they should focus on their job, playing their sport to the best of their abilities and for their teammates. #DoNoWKaepernick

  • Adriana Vega

    Athletes should use their public platform to make political statements because they are supposed to be role models and millions of people over the world are watching their games and what they do. Athletes should use their social standing to bring awareness of issues in America today. If you are just playing the sport that’s no use because you are wasting the opportunity given to make change

  • Jacob F

    I do not believe that athletes should use their career as a public platform to make political statements on. It takes away from the event and sport at hand, and is simply a distraction. However, we also must understand that athletes are still humans, and they have opinions just like anyone else. This should be taken into consideration when discussing politics, but during a professional game is just bad timing.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/early-lead/wp/2016/08/27/colin-kaepernick-refuses-to-stand-for-national-anthem-to-protest-police-killings/

  • breghida boehmer

    (#MyCMSTargs) 2.Do Now: Kaepernick
    http://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2016/07/when-athletes-take-political-stands/490967/
    This link is relevant to the Do Now article because it is an article from a credible source, on other popular athletes recognizing the same social problem, then trying to achieve social change.

    This Do Now article, is about San Francisco 49’ERS Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick decided to make a public attempt at the pre-season football game to not stand during the National Anthem, in order to not show pride for the US, because the US “oppresses black people, and people of color”. The article I linked was of basketball player, women and men, pretesting in the same way for the same thing.

  • Eileen Castillo

    Athletes, actors, musicians, whatever.
    If they are Americans, then guess what?
    They have the right to voice their opinions. Just like the rest of us. Even if their profession affords them more ways than FB to do it.

  • Fernando Hernandez

    Regardless of occupation, everyone voice can be heard. Personally, Colin Kaepernick is the man in my opinion. He stood up for a good cause and was ridiculed by ignorant individuals who want to keep people down. I believe bringing to the table social issues is a high priority. Who cares if he didn’t focus on the game or how he was playing. He is a leader and not a follower. The issue he brought to the table regarding lack of respect and racism displayed by individuals living within the United States, to me is a protest for how unbalance social issues are. He took a knee and spoke a few words on this issue, rather than pointing a gun at people or killing crowds to emphasize his issue. Some people are soft and ignorant to change. Racism is a plague in the U.S. I ask,” Will it ever truly go away”? I doubt it.
    #MyCMSTArgs #DoNowKaepernick @laczkoWord@KQEDedspace

Author

Chanelle Ignant

Chanelle is the Youth Media Specialist for KQED Learning. She has worked with various Bay Area youth media organizations and is an independent media maker.