on athletes protesting

Coming from Canada I’m always surprised how seriously angered some Americans get when they feel either flag or National Anthem are disrespected.

The issue of Gabby Douglas not putting hand over heart at the Olympics was blown way out of proportion, for example. Clearly she intended no disrespect.

A hot topic in American news is Colin Kaepernick’s protest against racial injustice. More sportsmen are supporting him each week.

For example, Garfield High School football players and coaching staff took a knee during the national anthem. The entire team. And plan to do so for the rest of the season.


A recent survey found Kaepernick was the most disliked player in the NFL – “disliked a lot” by 29% of those polled. I assume he’s also one of the most admired players today. His protest has been divisive in a divided nation.

Sport – normally – is one topic that tends to bring fans together.

On the one hand, I too admire Kaepernick’s guts. And feel he’s correct in calling out racial injustice. His protest is non-violent. Gandhi would approve.

On the other hand I wish there was some way to keep it off the field of play. It is a distraction from the Game.

Whether we like it or not, this protest is going to continue. Americans, too, deeply respect their First Amendment – freedom of speech.

Best case scenario this kind of protest brings real change. I’ll try to stay optimistic.

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

9 thoughts on “on athletes protesting”

  1. With all due respect, Rick, one needs to understand the great, and sometimes ultimate, sacrifice Americans have made to maintain the freedom for these to protest. Its this understanding, the love of country, which leads to the disappointment felt when observing such ungrateful behavior.


      1. I firmly believe the founding fathers would have been proud to see this protest. They sacrificed a lot for our freedoms and a big reason was so that people could protest what they believe is injustice. I find it mind boggling that so many Americans don’t get that. Even if people think the reason for the protest is wrong they should respect the right to peaceful protest.


        1. The founding fathers would have been appalled at this display. He is just making everything worse by inappropriately politicizing a sporting event. He is making $19 million per year and is using his status to divide an already divided country. When we have military men and women laying down their lives and police officers being killed regularly, his display is both petty and selfish.


  2. I have no problem with him protesting especially since it is so peaceful. But I wish he would use his celebrity status to bring people together. He really has no idea what he is talking about and is adding fuel to the fire. Like you said, America is a very divided country and this is not helping. I am very sad to see my country going down the path we are on.


  3. The country is divided, and the military and law enforcement are dying in the line of duty. Therefore, people shouldn’t protest racial injustice. Sorry, the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premise.

    Protesting racial injustice is dividing the country, therefore people shouldn’t protest racial injustice injustice. Nope, that’s not a valid argument either.

    It’s a good thing the founding fathers didn’t stop opposing England because it was dividing the British colonies. Or that the Union didn’t stop opposing the confederacy because it was dividing the country.


  4. I have to admit that I too dislike when politics interferes with sport. I’d probably be outraged if an athlete kneeled during the national anthem to oppose gun control or some other issue. But I’d like to think that everyone condemns injustice of any kind and so can sympathize with Kaepernick’s actions in some sense.

    Yeah, it would have been more appropriate if he did it off the field (through he would have been criticized just the same), but I suppose his thinking was that this is bigger than sport. It somewhat reminds me of Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fist during the medals ceremony during the 1968 Olympics. At the time they received a huge amount of backlash and were expelled from the games, but now people not only sympathize with them, but pay tribute to them.


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