There is no question that kneeling during the National Anthem has been the center of sports controversy in the last year. At the center of that controversy is Colin Kaepernick, who knelt and even sat during the Anthem in 2016.
Following Kaepernick’s first kneel, many other players in other sports began to follow. The controversy was exacerbated by President Donald Trump when he demanded coaches in the NFL fire players taking a knee.
The question arises, to what do our athletes owe to their country? Should they do what they are there to accomplish without rocking the boat? Or do they have a responsibility to use their platform to express their beliefs?
The act of kneeling is a means of calling attention to the racial inequality and police brutality in the United States. The country is split on the matter, as some believe kneeling is disrespectful to our flag and to our servicemen, while others believe in Kaepernick’s bravery in peacefully protesting.
The Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs in collaboration with Fairfield University Athletics and the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee will be taking on the topic in their upcoming panel discussion titled “Shut up and Play?” The event will take place in the John A. Barone Campus Center Oak Room at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Panelists will tackle race, sports and activism. Students are invited to come participate in the conversation.