TALKING POINTS ON TAKING A KNEE

Black NFL players who take a knee hate America

The NFL protest is raising awareness against police violence and racial injustice; it is in no way a protest against America.

America proposes to be the land where all people are provided equal opportunity at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; not all groups of people are being afforded such opportunities.

The oppression of a single group of people has negative consequences for all the people, such as higher crime; it is therefore in everyone’s best interest to fight for equality for all.

 

Kneeling is disrespectful of our flag and National Anthem

Colin Kaepernick switched his protesting stance from sitting to kneeling after Nate Boyer (a white, former Green Beret and NFL player) suggested that a prayerful bending of the knee would be a better way to convey respect while protesting.

Kneeling is generally considered a sign of respect; it is a stance people take in prayer and when presenting the flag to a veteran’s next of kin at the funeral.

 

It is disrespectful of our veterans

The military has fought for precisely the rights the NFL players are expressing. 

Every day 20 veterans commit suicide and 40,000 suffer from homelessness; they are profoundly disrespected by not receiving the supportive services they desperately need. 

If conveying respect for our veterans is a high priority, there are many concrete things that can be done to support them such as volunteering your services at the Wounded Warrior Homes program, donate household items to Vietnam Veterans Association, volunteer at a local VA hospital, support improved access to mental health care for veterans.  

 

During a sports event is not the proper venue

Vast public exposure is key in impacting as many people as possible: it is actually the perfect venue for a protest as it reaches a large audience.

Athletes, as public figures, are considered role models and must use their celebrity to make people’s voices, which don’t have the reach they do, heard. 

Many NFL executives (including Roger Goodell, Jed York, and Robert Kraft) have expressed support of the protests.

 

If NFL players don't like America, they should go to another country

True patriots stay in their own country and work towards improving it.

Throughout the years activists have changed the course of history through peaceful dissent; this has provided rights and freedoms for many groups of people in America. 

America is an ever evolving country; our participation in it’s democracy, including dissent, is imperative in it’s functioning and it’s future. 

 

Rich, privileged can afford to do something for black people if they wanted to

They do:  Here are a few examples

Colin Kaepernick pledged to donate one million dollars to organizations that work to address oppression in communities of color and has funded the Texas Advocates for Justice, which fights racism in the criminal justice system.

Seattle Seahawks launched The Seahawks Players Equality & Justice For All Action Fund to support education and leadership programs addressing equality and justice.

Arizona Cardinals Patrick Peterson created “Foundation for Success” which aims to provide low-income and inner city youth with opportunities and resources to reach their full potential.

Carolina Panthers Charles Johnson has built affordable housing for seniors in South Carolina and has plans to build more.

Detroit Lions Glover Quin held benefits for domestic violence victims and he rallied other Lions players to help donate over 36,000 bottles of water to Flint Michigan.

Denver Broncos Brandon Marshall pledged to donate $300 for every tackle last season to local organizations committed to addressing “critical social issues.”

For further information, follow this link to an article by Russell Okung of the L.A.Chargers: https://www.theplayerstribune.com/russell-okung-colin-kaepernick-protest/