Colin Kaepernick: Impacting the Pledge

Every classroom at Leesville Road High School has an American flag in it, so that students who wish to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance can face the flag. (Photo courtesy of Samiyah Hargrove)

With the NFL season starting, Colin Kaepernick is back in the news. In August of 2016, Kaepernick made a decision that would end his football career. 

Kaperpernick took a stand against social injustice by kneeling during the National Anthem at a preseason game. Others also protested such as the Dallas owboy’s owner Jerry Jones, the entire Seahawk team, the Green Bay Packers, and many other NFL players. They all refused to support “a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick, a former quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, told

Kaepernick made a difference in the community by encouraging other activists to voice their opinions. He also made a difference in schools by motivating students to express their beliefs in the classroom by not standing during the Pledge of Allegiance. In school, students usually stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, but since Kaepernick’s protest, some students have stopped partaking in the standing of the pledge of allegiance.

A famous line from the pledge is “liberty and justice for all,” but for minorities this isn’t always true. The people who choose not to stand for the pledge are not doing it because they don’t love America; rather, they are doing it because they will “not stand up for a country that doesn’t stand up [for them],” said Danille Mankessi, a sophomore, who does not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. 

The opposing side to the debate is that Kaepernick was “disrespecting all of the military personal,” said Aaron Zemonek, a senior, who stands during the Pledge.

Colin was exercising his freedom to protest, but some believe that there were “other ways [to protest],” said Tyler Graham, a sophomore, who stands.

If Kaepernick would have chosen a different way to protest, then he wouldn’t have caused so much conversation. By not standing during the Anthem, he is getting “people to think about what they are standing for,” said Ann Hill, a senior, who does not stand for the Pledge. 

As a country “we can do better,” said Hill, but until then we have to continue to stand up for what we believe in.


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