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Protest in the National
Football League


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November 26,2017

State College of
Florida: Bradenton Campus










Author Note

This paper was prepared for Written Communications I (ENC
1101), taught by Professor Bojanowski.

Protest in the
National Football League

Football has been played all the
way back since the eighteen-hundreds. Over time it has also been used as a
grounding for social justice protests. Not only has there been protesting with
football but also with basketball, boxing, baseball, etc. There has always been
a long tradition with sports tying in with social justice issues, especially
the majority being African Americans. Jesse Owens, an African American runner that
played in the 1936 Olympics was an outstanding runner however he was bashed and
discriminated by white supremacist. Over the past year there have been protests
in the sport Foot Ball. The viewers of the sport have begun to decline because
of the growing number of National Football League (NFL) athletes taking a knee
during the Star Spangle Banner, also known as the USA National Anthem. The protesters
stated that They’re simply just kneeling as a protest for social injustices
involving African Americans, the opposing side postulates that it is an act of
disrespect toward the American flag. The two online new sources will be
comparing the reasoning behind the protest and what is being done to end the

Washington Post is an American daily newspaper that is located in the
nation’s capital that talks about daily politics. The newspaper covers
everything from sports to local news out of Washington DC plus more. ESPN is a program that is dedicated to covering
everything about sports. They cover every sport from high school athlete sports
to professional sports such as baseball, basketball, soccer, football etc. One
of the two articles will help in determining which side has the most justice
for Americans based on facts.




           Social issues
are a real problem in this world, I believe there are solutions to problems and
that this particular one can be solved. On the side of people who believe that
players should be fired for kneeling, they have some information that can back
up their argument. According to NFL book that states policies says “During the National Anthem, players on the field
and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their
left hand, and refrain from talking. The home team should ensure that the
American flag is in good condition. It should be pointed out to players and
coaches that we continue to be judged by the public in this area of respect for
the flag and our country. Failure to be on the field by the start of the
National Anthem may result in discipline, such as fines, suspensions, and/or
the forfeiture of draft choice(s) for violations of the above, including first
offenses.”(Lewis, N, 2017) WP. On the protesters side, they believe
that they have the right to stand, sit, or do whatever they want because it is
America and it’s a democratic country and every American is allowed to practice
their first amendment right. The first amendment says that government has no
right to prohibit assembly or petitions. However, a counter argument for that
is that the NFL is private organization, not one under the government so that
the players must stand and abide to the rule and that since it is private organization
the first amendment doesn’t apply. Players replied that the first amendment
applies to everyone as a whole in the country not just from private organizations.

Players previously waited in locker rooms during the Anthem, but in 2009
players were made to stand outside during the Anthem. It was not until
recently, has there been a controversial issue with the anthem and players
standing. Trump, the president of the United States has said that it is a sign
of disrespect and that since it’s in the NFL rule book that it should be active.

Both side contains a lot of emotions. Facts have shown that African Americans
have been mistreated throughout all American history. Trump has said derogatory
comments about African Americans, referring them to as “poor, hungry, and
lazy” and said that the U.S doesn’t need them running around in the ghettos
complaining. In history, blacks were always slaves and segregated. Imagine how
you would feel if you were constantly hated and bashed on for being African
American, would you feel the right to protest? On the other side, Peoples
families go to war and die. There is a lot of emotion because they view the
national anthem song and standing to the flag as respect. How would you feel if
your brother’s ceremony wasn’t being fully respected?


            According to
the Washington Post, Some NFL owners believe there is a strong possibility
they will enact an offseason change to the league’s national anthem policy if
players’ protests during the anthem persist through the end of this
season, reverting to a previous approach of keeping players in the locker
room while the anthem is played, according to several people familiar with
the league’s inner workings. The last past season was basically circled around
these players protesting and everyone beginning to feel outrageous about the
fact that these players are basically knelling during something that millions
and millions of people died for and the viewers of this game felt like they
were disrespecting all of these brave men and women that laid their lives down
just so we could have the freedom to play the game of football each and every
week. But the owners do have mixed emotions about the protest, some of the NFL
owners understand and said they respect the football players protest.


            The Washington Post and ESPN both give valid
arguments, while The Washington post argues that football players are not
showing respect and they’re obligated to follow their contracts. The Washington
post also says they should fire the football players and basically all the
football players practicing their first amendment should be ashamed. While, the
opposing team of football players and ESPN state that practicing the first amendment
is not a crime and punishing the football players is a crime. Taking away their
first amendment right is like what happened in history. Africans had no say,
they could not vote until 1965. Rosa Parks refused to get up from her seat and
made a difference, it’s facts. Allowing Africans to practice their first amendment
and make a difference is what America promised when making this a law. This is
a fact; the constitution was made in 1787 and the first amendment says in summarized
fine print that the government has no right to stop an American from protesting
to make America great again.






Lewis, N. (2017 October 5) NFL The NFL and the First Amendment: A Guide to the Debate

Washington Post. Retrieved From


Wickersham, S.(2017
October 27) Gaffes, TV Ratings Concerns Dominated as NFL, Players Forged Anthem
Peace. ESPN, ESPN Internet
Ventures. Retrieved From



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