The National Anthem Protest and the 1st Amendment


Xander Sawyer, Contributor

Our Constitution and Bill of Rights are the foundation of our society. The first amendment guarantees all U.S. citizens the right to free speech and free expression, but our rights aren’t absolute. You can’t walk into a movie theater and shout ‘Fire.’ However, our rights do cover peaceful protest and political expression.

In recent news NFL football player Colin Kaepernick was kneeling to the National Anthem in a peaceful protest due to police brutality and unfair treatment and oppression toward African Americans. “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 said. “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.” Some believe that kneeling during the National Anthem is disrespectful to our veterans and to our flag. While others believe that under the Constitution Colin Kaepernick has the right to peacefully protest.

Although Some Veterans disagree with Kaepernick, others are in full support for his rights to peacefully protest. “I’ll take a kneel against injustice and oppression before I stand with those who turn a blind eye to it,” (Charles Jim Petoskey (@cjpetoskey) September 24, 2017). He is saying that he supports Kaepernick and that he agrees with Kaepernick’s protest.”I took an oath to defend the Constitution, not the flag. @realDonaldTrump, point your tiny fingers elsewhere,” (Jason (@ArktinenJenkki). What he is saying is that he took an oath to protect our rights of the constitution rather than to protect the flag. Coach Augustine from Newfield High School said, “In this country people have the right to protest peacefully so whether I agree with the content of this protest or not I do agree that they have the right to protest.”