NFL player Colin Kaepernick has created a media storm for protesting police brutality and inequalities in America for minorities by sitting down during The National Anthem, which is played before every NFL game. Though the NFL organization states players are not required to stand, many people have become angry with Kaepernick, calling him a traitor and his protest tactic disrespectful. Is Kaepernick practicing good etiquette or promoting disrespect for his country?
Unlike many other countries, The National Anthem statute is a request not a law. Kaepernicks’ first amendment right surpasses all naysayers and 36 U.S. Code § 301 – National Anthem. Good etiquette is respecting other people, listening, and treating a person the way you want to be treated. With a history including slavery, Trail of Tears, and suffrage, we all know America has not treated all citizens equally. Therefore, Kaepernicks protest is legal and encouraged. United States civil rights laws changed in 1964 by protest and government attention, not from people hoping other people “do the right thing.”
Every American citizen should feel passionate when holding their hand over their heart and singing the national anthem. If a person does not feel the same passion as you may, and shares why, don’t tell them to “shut up.” An American Citizen with good etiquette will listen and help their fellow man achieve the rights he so desires. A true American would encourage the entire United States to live up to the lyrics of The National Anthem they hold so dear.
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If you are interested in The National Anthem and flag etiquette please read below:
The composition consisting of the words and music known as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem.
(b)Conduct During Playing.—During a rendition of the national anthem—
(1) when the flag is displayed—
(A) individuals in uniform should give the military salute at the first note of the anthem and maintain that position until the last note;
(B) members of the Armed Forces and veterans who are present but not in uniform may render the military salute in the manner provided for individuals in uniform; and
(C) all other persons present should face the flag and stand at attention with their right hand over the heart, and men not in uniform, if applicable, should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart; and
(2) when the flag is not displayed, all present should face toward the music and act in the same manner they would if the flag were displayed.