Colin Kaepernick kicked off one of the most controversial trends in NFL history last season, as he kneeled during the national anthem as a form of protest to stand up and fight for racial inequality and social justice.
Flash forward a year later, and racial tension in the U.S. has skyrocketed to far higher levels than it was when Kaepernick first took a knee. As a result, more and more players and figures are protesting during the national anthem, including stars Marshawn Lynch and Michael Bennett.
Browns head coach Hue Jackson was recently asked about his opinion on these protests, and had this to say.
#Browns Hue Jackson: "The national anthem means a lot. I hope that won't happen here (someone sitting)"— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) August 14, 2017
You can respect an opinion like that, after all, the National Anthem is one of the strongest symbols of our patriotism and our American heritage.
However, telling your players to not stand up for what they believe in is something that is inherently un-American in itself. Jackson didn't explicitly come out and tell his players don't protest, but he made it clear he doesn't want to see it.
#Browns HC Hue Jackson on national anthem protests in NFL: everybody has a right, but national anthem means a lot to me, our organization— Nate Ulrich (@NateUlrichABJ) August 14, 2017
The National Anthem and the American flag are meant to serve as an homage to all those who fought for our most basic freedoms and rights that we have as Americans.
However, those basic rights include the right to stand up against injustice when you see it, and fight for equality.
Agree or disagree with how these players are protesting, you have to understand their reasoning behind it and the fact that they're standing up for what's right.