NFL Players Are NOT Protesting the Flag

By Ellie Drabnis on October 31, 2017

It makes me sad that people completely and totally miss the point of certain things. For example, people are missing the point of why NFL players are kneeling during the anthem at games.

They are kneeling in protest of police brutalityNFL players are NOT disrespecting the flag.

Even the NFL Players Association executive director, DeMaurice Smith, released a statement and clearly explained: “no player is disrespecting our country or our flag.”

Yet, so many individuals choose to ignore this and continue believing the opposite all while failing to understand the situation or why the kneeling began in the first place.

Former 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, was the first to kneel in protest of police brutality. And, many people are unaware that Kaepernick was in touch with a military veteran by the name of Nate Boyer. Originally, Kaepernick was sitting in protest. Through the letters that they exchanged back and forth, Boyer and Kaepernick agreed that kneeling would be the best course of action to draw attention all while being a peaceful form of protest. They eventually became close friends and Kaepernick would go on to invite Boyer to a 49ers game.

Unfortunately, Kaepernick was let go from the 49ers. The reason for this was because the team owners considered him “a distraction.”

But, Kaepernick’s protest left a lasting impact on the NFL. Taking Kaepernick’s lead, several NFL players have been kneeling to continue bringing awareness to the senseless force that those in the profession of law enforcement continue using.

And, while it seemed only players of color were kneeling, eventually, Seth DeValve of the Cleveland Browns was the first white player to kneel, supporting the cause.

While it seemed only players of color were kneeling in support of ending police brutality, Seth DeValve became the first white player to kneel in protest as well. (

DeValve explained that he was kneeling in support of the protest started by Kaepernick because he “will be raising children that don’t look like [him], and [he] wants to do [his] part as well to do everything [he] can to raise them in a better environment than we have right now.”

While DeValve’s wife, Erica Harris DeValve was very proud that her husband was kneeling in support of this protest, she explained that while even she praised her husband, she clarified that he is not “some sort of white savior to a movement that was started and has been carried on by black football players for about a year now.”

Harris DeValve once more explained that the kneeling movement was started by Colin Kaepernick who “literally lost his job for taking a knee, week after week, on his own,” and that even though “[her husband], as a white individual, never has and never will truly have to feel the weight and burden of racial discrimination and racial oppression. No white person does or will. But all white people should care and take a stand against its prevalence in this country.”

Colin Kaepernick has since filed a grievance against the NFL over losing his job.

Further, the kneeling players are not putting out hate speech in any way unlike those involved in the situation over hateful fliers at Cleveland State University.

Hate speech is when something is said or done with the intention of harming a specific group of people and it is not protected as free speech.

NFL players who are kneeling are not attempting to harm policemen nor are they are denouncing law enforcement in any way. They are not disrespecting the flag or nation anthem because once more: this protest is NOT about the American flag or national anthem. It never was.

The NFL players who are kneeling are doing so to raise awareness about innocent people being killed by police officers who used excessive force.

NFL Players are protesting police brutality. #BlackLivesMatter
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-Comm Major with minors in journalism and broadcasting -An aspiring reporter -Mixed and proud ^^ (Russian American on Dad's side,100% Guatemalan on mom's side) -Spanish is my first language

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