When you think about the United States, you think of a country that is a melting pot, combining cultures from around the world to make one unique but dominant nation. Within this nation there were always things that people didn’t see eye to eye on, Democrat vs. Republican, country vs. city, or Redskins vs. Cowboys. Even with those differences and so many more there was thing that the nation all agreed on, when you heard the national anthem everyone stood put their hand over their heart and sang those beautiful word about written by Francis Scott Key, until Aug. 27 when that all changed.
In a preseason game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers if you glanced to the sideline of the hosting 49ers, there was one person who was on a knee during the anthem. That person was quarterback Colin Kaepernick. After the game reporters swarmed to the locker of #7 to ask the simple question: “why?
“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 said. This was a form of protest that took the country by storm and has sparked a whole new form of debate, people for the protest vs. people against it.
This controversy has not stayed quiet, spreading to all professional and college teams, including our Shepherd Rams. In an interview with several Ram football players there seemed to be the same type of split decision on the issue that has been seen around the country.
“I agree with what he is doing and think it was an issue that it has raised the right questions in the country,” said Shaquille Melvin, the Ram’s senior defensive lineman. “I think there is more he could be doing to help promote his cause, like going out into the problem communities and showing your face to let the people know that you are really there for them.”
Noah Climer, a redshirt freshman, had a different point of view on the issue.
“While I believe that it’s a right we have as Americans to kneel during the National Anthem I do not agree with it and nor would I ever do it myself.” Climber did share the same views of Melvin on one subject.
“There is much more he (Kaepernick) could do other than taking a knee during the anthem,” Climer said.
While around the NFL and a lot of other professional sports this has been an issue in the locker room breaking teammates relationships, this Rams team seems to be more unified than ever.
“We keep politics out of the locker room and at the end of the day we have each others back on the field,” Climer said.