“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”(Colin Kaepernick). Civil Disobedience is a term that gives a citizen the right to stand for what they believe in. Even with the consequences that he or she may face for what they are doing, it still gives them the right to do what they want and believe in what they choose. Thoreau, with his choice of words, could have influenced Colin Kaepernick to go against the government and kneel during the national anthem. The NFL protests demonstrated how Thoreau said there can be a such thing as peaceful protesting. Thoreau explained that it is okay to go behind the government and do a peaceful protest as long as the protest had a good reason reason behind it. Thoreau proposed to citizens that they have the right to go against the government and the sayings of the government. Our nation has the right to resist the government and be able to have a better one. Thoreau says, “Resistance is the highest form of patriotism because it demonstrates a desire not to subvert government but to build a better one in the long term” (Thoreau). This quote explains that this gives a citizen the right to resist the government and what they may be trying to get one to do. The government may be good, but the governors running may not be. The one that is running the government may not be doing a well enough job at it and not doing it correctly. Someone protesting an act of civil disobedience wants to give the citizens a feel of wanting to go against it. Thoreau states, “Democracy is not the last step in the evolution of government, as there is still greater room for the State to recognize the freedom and rights of individual”(Thoreau). This quote is an explanation that every citizen has the right to stand up for what they believe in no matter what the government says. Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem due to blacks inequality. Kaepernick was the first to do this in the NFL league. Even though he may have thought he was doing the right thing, numerous of citizens gave him hatred for doing this. Normally, one stands for our flag and show respect towards the defenders of the nation. Kaepernick explains to critics, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color”(Wyche). He did not agree with our policemen and how they were treating the African Americans. The police were being unquestionably brutal to them. They were not being gentle, instead they were being hurtful and harmful towards them. Kaepernick kept it to himself that he was going to kneel. He did this because he did not want to hear from all of his teammates or coaches disagree with him and try to talk him out of it. He was going to do anything he needed for what he believes in. As Wyche says, “Kaepernick said that he is aware of what he is doing and that he knows it will not sit well with a lot of people, including the 49ers. He said that he did not inform the club or anyone affiliated with the team of his intentions to protest the national anthem”(Wyche). This quote explains that Kaepernick was keeping the kneeling to himself. He did not care who opposed of him or disagreed with him. As Wyche explains, “This is not something that I am going to run by anybody, he said. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right”(Wyche). He does not need approval from anyone for his rights as a citizen. Kaepernick presented a great example of someone standing up for one’s rights. African Americans have the right to be treated like any other citizen, no matter the color of one’s skin. Kaepernick had the strength to stand up for blacks rights when no one would. He doing this could have given the black community enough strength to stand up for themselves. Even with the hate Kaepernick was getting from everyone, he still had enough courage and keep kneeling for the blacks equality. Kaepernick thought the kneeling was a way to speak out for those who were not able to or who did not have enough endurance to. Other players were coming up to Kaepernick and asking him how they could get involved into the movement. As Reid says, “I approached Colin the Saturday before our next game to discuss how I could get involved with the cause but also how we could make a more powerful and positive impact on the social justice movement”(Reid). They wanted to everything about the movement to be more approachable and more thought of as a good thing. Thoreau could have greatly influenced Colin Kaepernick into the NFL protests. Kaepernick was kneeling for the blacks that deserve equality in a peaceful protests. Thoreau justified it is okay to do a peaceful protest as long there is good reasoning behind it. Kaepernick had a tremendous meaning behind this protest. Like Thoreau, Kaepernick did not like how citizens in the police force were treating blacks. Thoreau did not like how the United States was treating Mexico. As Smith states, “One of the factors that influenced Thoreau to consider civil disobedience as a method of resistance was poor treatment of Mexico by the United States” (Smith). This gave Thoreau a feeling that the United States had no right to treat Mexico the way they were. Thoreau decided to write about civil disobedience and what he or she can do for their rights as a citizen, and that every citizen has enough strength to do a protest and be able to back up the protest. Kaepernick decided to kneel because he was tired that no one would stand up for the black nationality  and what was happening to them. He says that police do not have the right to kill innocent people and not have a care about it. In Kaepernick’s own words, “…this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder” (Baumann).  Kaepernick had bigger things in mind than a football game. He was thinking about the equality of citizens. Although Colin Kaepernick may have thought kneeling was a good way to present his protest, but many citizens would disagree with him. Kaepernick got a lot of hate for kneeling during the national anthem. Many citizens explained that he was being very disrespectful towards the flag. Even though he saw it as a respectful gesture standing up for citizen’s rights. Many critics said that Kaepernick had no right to do such a protest in a place of work.  As Callan states, “The fact is, these athletes do not have the “right” to protest at football games unless their employers consent to the conduct”(Callan). This quote says that no football player has the right to protest unless he or she knew about it beforehand. Donald Trump was very unhappy with the football players kneeling to our flag, and he took to twitter to announce his unhappiness. As Stites says,”Trump said Friday that NFL owners who see players disrespecting the flag”(Stites). Trump saw what the NFL players were doing as a disrespect to the flag and had no right to do that. Trump believed that those players should not be allowed to play any longer. As Cook explains, “On Sept. 22, while speaking at a political rally in Alabama, Trump told the crowd he believed that NFL players who kneel during the national anthem should be fired”(Cook). Trump told the crowd in Alabama that the players should be fired, but this gives the players more power to want to resist what the president says and keep kneeling for blacks rights as citizens.Thoreau may have had a great impact towards Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem. Kaepernick did a peaceful protest about police brutality towards African Americans. Thoreau explained how peaceful protesting is a way to get one’s attention. Although many people saw what he was doing as a disrespectful gesture, Kaepernick had the right to do what he did because he was standing up for black’s rights. Works CitedBaumann, Michael. “The Only Side of the NFL Protest Debate.” The Ringer, 2017 Sep. 26, https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2017/9/26/16365282/protest-debate-colin-kaepernick-alejandro-villanueva-police-brutality.Callan, Paul. ” There is No Constitutional Right to Take a Knee While You’re at Work.”     26 September 2017, CNN,               http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/26/opinions/first-amendment     -football-protest-callan-opinion/index.html.Cook, Lauren. “NFL Players Kneeling During The National Anthem: How Colin Kaepernick          Started a Movement and Why.” amNewYork,sic 18 October 2017,          https://www.amny.com/news/nfl-players-kneeling-during-          national-anthem-how-colin-kaepernick-started-a-movement-and-why-1.14287523.Kaepernick, Colin. Brainy Quote. 2017, BrainyQuote, 5 Dec. 2017, https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/colin_kaepernick. Reid, Eric. “Why Colin Kaepernick and I Decided to Take a Knee.” The New York Times, 25 Sept. 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/opinion/colin-kaepernick-football-protests.html.Smith, Nicole. “Analysis and Summary of Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau.” Article Myriad, 2011 Dec. 6, http://www.articlemyriad.com/analysis-summary-civil-disobedience/.Stites, Adam. “NFL Players Responded to Donald Trump With More Protests Than Ever.”     26 September 2017, SbNation,     https://www.sbnation.com/2017/9/24/16354916/nfl-protest-national-anthem-donald-trump.Thoreau, Henry. “Civil Disobedience”. GradeSaver, 5 Dec. 2017,  http://www.gradesaver.com/civil-disobedience/study-guide/summary.Wyche, Steve. ” Colin Kaepernick Explains Why He Sat During The National Anthem.” NFLNews, 27 August 2016, http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000691077/article/colin-kaephy-he-sat-during-national-anthemernick-explains-w.

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