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Colin Kaepernick and His Disrespect to the American Flag: Research Paper

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Colin Kaepernick is without a doubt one of the most controversial people in today’s society. Kaepernick is most famous for his decision to take a knee during the National Anthem before an NFL football game. While everyone else was standing and supporting the flag, he sat/kneeled down. He chose to do so because he thought he was making a stand against “racial injustice.” He said that he was not going to stand up for a country that disrespects people of color. He made a huge deal out of it and immediately started getting attention. He continued to kneel before every game and influenced many players and even fans to do the same. For his so-called “heroic” acts Kaepernick has won the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award, Best Breakthrough Athlete ESPY Award, and was the face of a recent Nike campaign. Although some people might claim Colin Kaepernick had a negative impact on society because of his disrespect to the American flag, he has had more of a positive influence on society by fighting against racial segregation and giving quality entertainment to football fans.

To begin with, Colin Kaepernick can be said to have a negative impact on society because of his disrespect shown to the American flag. Many people found Colin Kaepernick’s kneel during the National Anthem to be very disrespectful to both the country and the people who fight for it. One of these people being the quarterback of the New Orleans Saints, Drew Brees, who said “He can speak out about a very important issue. But there’s plenty of other ways that you can do that in a peaceful manner that doesn’t involve being disrespectful to the American flag.”(Mather) This quote from Brees shows that some people were not so much angry about Kaepernick’s actions, but most certainly bothered by it. Brees says that the issue is important so it is somewhat justified to do something about it, but he went too far and showed much disrespect. Another person who spoke out about this topic was former NY Giants receiver, Victor Cruz. Cruz says ‘You got to respect the flag, and you got to stand up with your teammates. It’s bigger than just you, in my opinion.”(Wyche) This shows that Kaepernick’s actions not only showed disrespect but were also considered selfish to others.

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Next, although some say Kaepernick negatively impacted society, many people believe that he has had a positive influence on others by showing them how to stand up for their rights. In Reid’s article in The Undefeated, he says this about Kaepernick. “He determined that being on the right side of history and using his platform to try to effect social change was more important to him than simply toeing the line to keep his job. It’s called being a leader.” This shows that people looked up to Kaepernick and respected him for his courageous act. It also shows that Kaepernick is a deserving leader because he is willing to put his job on the line to fight for what he believes is right. In the same article Reid also says “He knew his form of protest would be wildly unpopular with many fans. Kaepernick understood that if he kneeled to stand up for others, he would become a target.” Kaepernick not only knows that many people will disagree with him but respects that and is still willing to challenge them. By standing up for others and sacrificing everything he had, Kaepernick had gained a lot of respect both on and off the football field.

Furthermore, Kaepernick was respected by many because of his ability to entertain on the football field. Many people love watching quality football games and it seemed like every time Kaepernick took the field that was provided. “He then remained the team’s starting quarterback for the rest of the season, leading the team to their first Super Bowl appearance since 1994. During the 2013 season, his first full season as a starter, Kaepernick helped the 49ers reach the NFC Championship Game.”(Wikipedia) This quote shows that when Kaepernick took over the starting role, he immediately had a huge effect on the 49er’s success. He turned them from being a below-average team in the league to being back-to-back Super Bowl contenders in the matter of just two seasons. Wikipedia also said that “With his performance, he set an NFL single-game record for most rushing yards by a quarterback.” This shows that Kaepernick was a successful player who was fun to watch.

Although Colin Kaepernick showed disrespect to the American flag, he’s mainly seen as a positive person because of his stand against racial segregation and his ability to provide entertainment through the game of football. By his actions, Kaepernick encourages people to stand up and fight for what they believe in. This will impact how people deal with their problems and will certainly change the future. Without his actions, people would definitely think differently and the world would not be the same.

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Colin Kaepernick and His Disrespect to the American Flag: Research Paper. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved January 30, 2023, from
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