Valley’s football team has joined the protest with a knee during the National Anthem.
By Harrison McQuinn, Sports Editor
It’s been over a year since Colin Kaepernick first took a knee. He only had the support of two teammates that night in San Diego, but since then has gained momentum with the entire nation.
The Monarch’s own football team is now kneeling during the National Anthem at home and away games.
The players joined the protest as early as last year according to Monarch receiver Romeo Gunt, but the team is divided. “It feels great to see everyone on different pages. It gives you perspectives,” said Gunt who claimed that approximately half of the roster takes a knee during the anthem with the most apparent goal of removing President Donald J. Trump from office.
A sea of mixed reactions filled the bleachers during a pregame kneeling at Monarch stadium in September. It is clear that the families of players are equally divided.
The coaching staff backs their players’ right to protest despite not joining themselves.
The Star-Spangled Banner has been protested as early as the late 60’s with Olympians Tommie Smith and John Carlos, but not many followed suit. Now at the pinnacle of the social media era, the lens of Twitter and Facebook magnify every gesture.
Kaepernick claimed wrongdoings against minorities were his call to action. As tensions rise at the White House, the narrative has shifted for many.
The contestable quarterback has expressed no clear endpoint for his protest, yet for many, including some Monarchs, the knee is a call for impeachment of President Donald Trump.
On the other side of the nation, figures refusing to kneel such as Alejandro Villanueva, the Steelers’ offensive tackle who stood alone for the anthem back in September, are equally scattered on their reasons. For Villanueva, a former Army Ranger it was an immense pressure from fellow veterans and a duty to honor the fallen, while others including President Trump himself claim it is disrespectful to the flag and the nation as a whole.
Dabo Swinney, coach of the Clemson Tigers, speculated at a press conference that, “it’s [not] good to be a distraction to your team… or to use [them] as the platform.”
With both sides flooded with several perspectives, the nation becomes even more separated in one of the most divisive periods in American history; yet, sports were meant to unite.