Point Counterpoint: Kaepernick

Some of the most critical moments in history occurred in 2016: a year in which gun violence and brutality was prominent worldwide – especially in America.

In that year, one thousand ninety-one African American lives were taken from them by the hands of corrupt police officers that assumed the worst and shot the victims to death.

Needless to say, thousands of protests were organized nationwide to combat this issue and lower these shameful statistics.

One football player in started a revolution in attempts to change the brutality that happens every day.

Colin Kaepernick, a former professional football player for the NFL, has used his athletic title to convey his stance against  unconstitutional police brutality towards innocent African American people.

Prior to kickoff of a pre-season game in 2016, Kaepernick decided to peacefully protest against this treatment by sitting during the National Anthem.

When being a professional athlete, it is an unspoken rule that you must remain politically impartial to the public eye to avoid backlash from fans, your team, and the league itself. Although Kaepernick’s form of protest is protected by the law, the timeliness of when he chose to protest was not ideal. This protest was executed in order to create peace; however, protesting in such a controversial way seemed to have the opposite effect and created more chaos and division amongst American citizens regardless of their background.

Simply put, there are two main groups: those who agree with Kaepernick’s form of protest, and those who disagree with what he did.

What Kaepernick did was not necessarily wrong; however, this protest could have been done differently and more efficiently to prevent some of the arguments occurring today.

Most people can agree that sports have always been the glue that unifies people of all different backgrounds and beliefs. However, Kaepernick’s choice to kneel during the National Anthem segregated the entire country and distracted  those in the league and fans of the game from what they were initially focusing on: football.

Around this time as well, the Orlando nightclub shooting, which killed forty-nine people and wounded fifty-three, was still fresh in the news. Although people nationwide fought for a safer America after this, Kaepernick chose to center his protest on police brutality and not gun control and uncivil people as a whole. Even earlier in the year, there were other instances where people lost their lives to gun violence.

Failure to address and truly alter this issue with guns was likely one of the factors contributing to the two hundred and sixty-two mass shootings this year in America alone.

In the end, Kaepernick had the right intentions; however, the way he executed them and the controversy that arose because of his means of protest could have been easily avoided if he simply protested in a different way.