Dolphins officials in debate over disciplining players for kneeling
In May of this year, the NFL decided to implement disciplinary measures in fines against players that do not stand for the pledge of the allegiance before games. The Miami Dolphins team officials are currently in debate as to whether players will be disciplined for sitting or kneeling on the sidelines and the field, and if so how they will be disciplined.
This all started back in September of 2017 when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick got down on one knee along with safety Eric Reid during the pledge of allegiance before the game. He took a knee during the pledge as a peaceful protest regarding the rapid number of police brutality cases against black people. Some of the victims of police brutality include Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Samuel DuBose, Philando Castile and Terence Crutcher whose cases are still left with no convictions of the police officers that took their lives. Injustices like these are the reasons why Kaepernick took a knee in the first place and has many who are following in his footsteps.
“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” said Kaepernick to NFL.com. On September 16, 2017, Garfield High School’s entire football team took a kneel during the Star-Spangled Banner. Garfield High School in Seattle is quite segregated so the issue with people of color and the police is common. The head coach, Joey Thomas, expressed his deep support for the kneel as many players on his team have experienced police brutality and racial profiling. Thomas stated with great conviction that “if we could start addressing the issues and finding solutions to the issues, we won’t have to kneel.”
Jeremy Lane from the Seattle Seahawks was the first player outside of the 49ers to sit during the national anthem following Kaepernick’s kneeling. Many other players followed suit such as Denver Broncos linebacker, Brandon Marshall and then on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, four Miami Dolphins players Arian Foster, Michael Thomas, Kenny Stills and Jelani Jenkins.
The truth is no one is addressing the reason why players are taking a knee during the national anthem. No player has publicly said that they kneel because they do not support veterans or because they do not love America. The Miami Dolphins are even considering disciplining players for kneeling instead of advocating and supporting justice for all is merely an attempt to control the narrative. The right to protest is a first amendment right and anyone has the right to exercise it and therefore, taking away that right just because it may not be the norm is wrong! It is also important to keep in mind that even if all sports teams let players kneel during the national anthem without penalty, this will not fix the issue at hand. Positive strides need to be taken to find and implement a solution that will bring justice for those who have lost their lives through police brutality.
It is important to understand from this controversial issue that the United States of America was built on protest and standing up for what you believe in. The Constitution is what all Americans live by and because of this the Constitution should be on the side of everyone. Police brutality is 100 percent preventable and can be fixed through a change in mentality. Even if you are not black, this issue affects all of America.