Significance in Standing

Kaepernick unethical in choosing not to stand for the national anthem

Sarah Day, Staff Writer

The national anthem is something citizens of the United States often become accustomed to hearing at sporting events.

It’s something people usually don’t give a second thought to the significance of singing.

You see it during high school games — the announcer tells the fans to face the flag, and we do — but people often talk through the anthem or are on their phones.

It’s time to remember what this ritual truly represents.

The U.S. flag and “The Star-Spangled Banner” are things that should be revered.

Think about it — most Americans have never seen the horrors of war. It isn’t fought on home soil, and we can turn a blind eye to the fighting if we so choose.

People who live in the U.S. are blessed enough to feel safe from war without a second thought — meanwhile, in other areas of the world, bombings and attacks are common and just another part of daily life.

Soldiers who volunteer their lives for ours deserve the utmost respect. One of the easiest ways they can be honored is through citizens standing for the national anthem.

On Aug. 26, 2016 San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose not to stand for the song to express his views that people of color in the U.S. are not treated equally.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told reporters.

Although Kaepernick was constitutionally within his rights to decline standing for the anthem, it was not ethically correct. I’m sure Kaepernick’s intention isn’t to be disrespectful to our troops, but that’s what his actions portray.

Regardless of why he doesn’t want to participate in the anthem, there are a whole host of reasons why he still should — the most important one is to recognize U.S. history and all that our country has overcome.

Even though we are still facing social issues and inequality, there is significance in celebrating the reforms the U.S. has been through — women’s rights, freedom of slaves, constitutional rights for all people, acceptance of immigrants — all changes that have made our country what it is now. After all, America has developed into what it is because of the mixture of cultures, people and ethnicities.

I understand the importance for all people to recognize that our country still is not entirely equal. It is proven that women and people of color aren’t always paid or treated fairly compared to white males, but Kaepernick could have expressed his opinion in a better way that would not have included something that could be viewed as disdain toward the military.

There is a time and a place for raising awareness toward any type of issue, racial issues included.

During the national anthem is not that time.