With more and more players joining in on Colin Kaepernick’s protests of racial injustice everyday, the idea of Freedom of Speech in Professional Sports popped into my head. We as Americans are granted that right; so why are these athletes who are American citizens being vilified for acting out a right they have been given? I found two articles specifically about Kaepernick sitting and kneeling during the National Anthem, and the way the news outlets reported his actions.
The first was written by Michael Hayden of ABC Sports, titled; “NFL QB Colin Kaepernick Set to Sit Out National Anthem Again on Military Nights in San Diego.” The article was written on September 1st before a preseason game against the San Diego Chargers. The first glaring aspect of this article is Hayden points out that Kaepernick had previously been sitting for the Anthem before the world took notice. It was not until he was caught on camera sitting on bench that the outrage began. Hayden noted that few people knew about Kaepernick sitting and that for the most part the opinions were split. Hayden then says that once the protest became bigger was when Kaepernick received the most of the backlash.
What I like about this article is that Hayden did not talk about his feeling on the matter. Rather he noted the veterans and other public figures that have either stood with or against Kaepernick. This night in particular stood out because the majority of the crowd was going to be military dominated. What I do not like very much about the article is how Hayden brought up Kaepernick’s playing time and team standing. It is not important to this story and does not really need to be included, because someone does not need to be the star of the team to garner attention for something.
The second article was written by Steve Wyche an NFL Media Insider for NFL.com titled; “Colin Kaepernick Explains Why He Sat For the National Anthem.” The article was posted on August 27th after Kaepernick was first noticed by the media for sitting during the National Anthem. Wyche spoke mainly about the relationship between Kaepernick and the 49ers management. It has been a tumultuous relationship as of the last couple years and Wyche noted this will most likely add to that fire.
What I like is that Wyche noted other professional athletes that have spoken out publicly about how they feel about racial injustice. He pointed out athletes like Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul, and LeBron James; all from the NBA who have voiced their opinions on the topic. I also like that Wyche noted how the teams management responded to Kaepernick kneeling saying;
“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
What I do not like about this article is the same thing I did not like in the previous article when Wyche talks about Kaepernick’s status with the team. Personally I do not think his playing time needs to be talked about when the reason for the article is a much bigger issue. I do not need to know when the last time Kaepernick took a meaningful snap in a professional game, when I am reading the article to learn about his stance on racial injustice.
There are few things I can learn from these two articles, the first and most glaring is to highlight the topic of my article. To get as much information as I can from the source and others around the league about how they feel. Also, to expand my research and search for other notable people who may or may not have an opinion on the topic of my article. Overall, I think both articles are written very well and report the information to the fullest possible extent that each writer can. However, no matter how good of a writer one is, there is always room for improvement. As for these two articles, the area I believe they can improve the most is by sticking to the most important part of the news and that is the backlash and support Kaepernick has gotten or has not.