Football players kneeling during the national anthem is nothing new, but it’s been in the headlines after Donald Trump spoke on the subject last week. The president took the stage during a rally in Alabama and told the crowd that he’d love for an owner to fire any “son of a bitch” who who “disrespects our flag” by kneeling.
Of course, kneeling during the anthem is not an attempt to disrespect the flag, it’s a way to raise awareness of racial injustice in America. Colin Kaepernick literally said “there are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder” when he was first asked about it last year. But the conversation around the flag has turned into “if you kneel, you are disrespecting our military,” because it is much easier to put the conversation in those terms than to address what players like Kaepernick and the like want to discuss.
That was evident during Sunday’s game between the Ravens and the Steelers. The game is in Baltimore, and as Ravens players dropped to a knee, the crowd booed heartily.