Silent Protests in Sports

A pressing topic in sports politics today is the question of whether or not it is acceptable for athletes to kneel while the national anthem is being played. While many people and athletes support the effort, there is also a less tolerant viewpoint on these acts.

“The national anthem represents our country and I just think it’s very disrespectful towards the men and women who fight for us,” senior and member of the varsity football team Shane Cooney said.

As kneeling during the anthem is growing in popularity within the NFL, Cooney is yet to witness it on the football field before a high school game. And although Cooney has no plans to participate in such protests, his classmate Zoe Komodromos has been actively participating in a different way.

After the national anthem is played in the morning, every person in the school is expected to recite the pledge of allegiance, however, Komodromos does not because she feels that not every American has the same sense of patriotism. But she also believes that it is not always appropriate to demonstrate these protests during the national anthem.

Senior, Zoe Komodromos

“Kneeling is showing a strong statement of opposition to the fact that we have so many issues in our country right now and that people should be free to express how they feel and that there shouldn’t be as much controversy over it as there is,” Komodromos said.

A main factor in the controversy is the disrespect towards members of the military. Sophomore golf captain, Matt Epstein, has very similar views as Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts.

“He had family in the military so he would feel like he had a responsibility to himself to stand and respect the flag,” Epstein said. “I would definitely not kneel. I would want to respect the flag and respect the troops that have died for us,” he added.

Sophomore Golf Captain, Matt Epstein

And while some people have an opinion on these protests, they also see both sides of the argument.

“I definitely respect people’s right to protest. I don’t know if I side with the whole issue, but I completely understand in a democracy, you deserve that right to say what you want. I just think that the timing is a bit inappropriate. I do believe that a lot of people in the military and their families feel disrespected by the entire ordeal,” said senior golf captain Tom Leone.