The Pittsburgh Kneelers


The world is #TakingAKnee and I am not talking about wedding proposals. Instead of getting married, people are practically divorcing American corruption. This past Sunday, millions of citizens, celebrities, and even colleagues have joined Colin Kaepernick in his protest of American issues such as police brutality. But everyone doesn’t exactly agree with the hashtag. Some people are going to extreme measures to protest the football player and anyone else who’s down on one knee.

What many people don’t know is that before Colin Kaepernick took a knee he was on the bench. According to Snopes, Kaepernick was told by the veteran Nate Boyer who is also a former Seahawks player that though he could never live in Kapernick’s shoes as a person of color, he found Colin sitting was very disrespectful to the true patriots that fought for this country, including himself. Ironically enough, Nate Boyer had this to say about the alternative option, “We sorta came to a middle ground where he would take a knee alongside his teammate. Soldiers take a knee in front of a fallen brother’s grave, you know, to show respect.” It was a middle ground for them both because it showed respect to the fallen brothers and sisters of police brutality and of the war. Even though the protest was crafted by a vet many people do not agree with the peaceful protest. This includes within our own city of Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh is a city known for its many sports teams, especially its beloved Steelers. But many of the lifetime fans of the team were not pleased. In fact, there are numerous compilations of long time supporters burning their treasured memorabilia. In these videos, the former fans complain about how kneeling is “unamerican”. There’s even utterance of a “liberal agenda”. One woman even spoke about how the people who sided with Kaepernick were enemies. On top of that, many other people who claim to be long time fans have dropped all ties with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Funnily enough, what the President and former fans don’t know is that nowhere in the Flag Code of Conduct does it say that it’s unamerican or disrespectful to kneel. In fact, many of the other flag activities such as use of advertisement are prohibited.

Kaepernick proclaims that he was in no way protesting America or its values, but instead some of its citizens’ racist activities. So some may say that his original connotations were taken out of context and completely whitewashed.