New NFL Policy to Ban Players from Kneeling During National Anthem

Xandra Lancaster, Staff Writer

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A new NFL policy will be put in place this 2018 season that is, “Banning players from kneeling in protest during the playing of the national anthem before games. If they choose not to stand, they can stay in the locker room, but if they violate the new rule, their teams will be fined.”

If you have followed the protest these past 2 seasons, then you know that it first started during the 2016 season when former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial police brutality.

In 2017 protest picked up when Colin Kaepernick was not signed to another team because they did not approve of his protest and after President Trump stated that if they were going to kneel, then that “Son of a b**** should be kicked off the field.” His fellow NFL players began to link arms and kneel during the anthem to show that they support Kaepernick and what he is protesting.

These protests caused an uproar in the NFL fan base and some fans even said they were going to stop watching and going to the games all together. In response, the NFL has created this new policy to try and prevent further protesting. However, there are debates about whether or not this new policy is unconstitutional.

I am a strong believer in our first amendment, which is our freedom of speech and peaceful protest. By forcing players to stand during the national anthem, you are stripping those rights from them. This isn’t North Korea, we shouldn’t be forcing patriotism; this is not a fascist country and these players shouldn’t be treated like this.

These players are still Americans and they still have the same rights as everyone else, so forcing them to stand is completely unconstitutional. One Bullard student, Kesslyn Cousins, agrees that these players should be treated like Americans and shouldn’t have their first amendment stripped from them simply because they’re famous and they’re doing it where everyone can see it.

One male student, who chose to remain anonymous, revealed that he believes that while it may be unconstitutional, respecting the flag and standing during the anthem is far more important.

However, Kaepernick and every other player has said time and time again that it’s not about the flag, it’s about being the voice for those whose voices can’t be heard.

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