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National Anthem protests start nationwide conversation on racial discrimination

Race a factor in likeliness to support protests
via Huffington Post
In a series of polls from yougov.com, posted in an article the Huffington Post, viewers can see the difference in opinion on Kaepernick based on race and political party association.

It is also to be noted that polls show the numbers of supporters among Americans depending on political affiliation, with the most extreme statistic being 85% of Republicans disapproving of Kaepernick's protesting. The article also includes a poll of the likeliness of police to take violent action depending on race, as well as some words from Colin Kaepernick himself on his cause and what made him take action to get the conversation started.




Personal Findings
Race relations and the way race can influence an individual's response has always been a very fascinating aspect of discussion for me personally. I interviewed multiple classmates, friends, roommates, and teammates in hopes of getting some very diverse answers.

The two interviews I ended up choosing turned out to be two of my good friends from high school. While these were not the most outrageous or heated responses, there is a method to the madness. I chose these two because they grew up in the same neighborhoods, went to the same middle and high school, had the same teachers, had similar interests in school, and are even friends themselves. Virtually the only difference between the two is their race. One is White, while the other is Persian. I found it very interesting to listen to their reasoning behind their claims and the claims, and facts they used to back up their claims.

The question I asked was, 'Do you agree with Colin Kaepernick's decision to kneel during the National Anthem?'



Colin Kaepernick: Protest Posterboy
via theguardian
The 49ers backup Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is the face of the National Anthem protests, being the first player to sit out the anthem. As mentioned prior, Colin Kaepernick notes discrimination to minorities, especially police brutality to the African-America community, as his reasoning for not standing.

Critics of Kaepernick's decision cite disrespect to country, servicemen, and law enforcement as their reasons for opposing the Quarterbacks' stance on the subject.


Seahawks show unity
The Seattle Seahawks players stood for the pledge this past Sunday, all players interlocking arms together as a show of unity. This practice was decided on as a team, as a way to show the team undivided in wake of the recent protests.

Some sources around the league believe the protests can be dividing to a team, while others think it is good to have individuals on the team who are not afraid to express their opinions. However the Seahawks players may feel individually about the situation, their action on Sunday showed they all are together as one on the field.

Background
The kneeling/sitting out of the National Anthem by players in multiple sports has been dominating news headlines as of late. There have been multiple players on multiple teams choosing to protest the anthem by kneeling, with even more players raising a right fist during the anthem. Even as recently as today, September 29th, President Obama has joined the debate, saying he supports Kaepernick's decision.
via foxnews

Those who choose not to stand at attention for the anthem are doing so in order to protest the discrimination that has been seen in this country towards minorities. These recent actions have sparked debates about race across the country. In a storyline with strong emotions previously built in, the opening games will be played on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, which will be sure to amplify the situation. Football players are now surely in the headlines for more than just the outcome of a ball game.

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