Monday, October 30, 2017

Texas State Students Discuss Effects of NFL Anthem Protests

By Monique Flores
mmf62@txstate.edu

SAN MARCOS, Texas – Texas State students gave their input on Thursday during interviews about the effects of the NFL national anthem protests.

Colin Kaepernick, American football quarterback and now a free agent, spearheaded the NFL national anthem protests in 2016 against police brutality and racial inequality. Since his initial decision to kneel during the national anthem, the movement has spread to other football teams across the country. The movement continues to create tension on a national and international scale.

Rachele Crossan, freshman Biology major at Texas State, gave her perspective of the movement and its purpose.

According to Crossan, “…It’s OK to protest. I think [the players] have that right. I don’t think they’re trying to be disrespectful. I think they’re trying to send a message that’s not getting accomplished any other way.”

Although Crossan’s understanding of the protest’s purpose was broad, she understood that the players are trying to make a statement against the current treatment of black lives in the United States. This general understanding was scarce among other students interviewed for this piece.

Jesmarie Mirabel, sophomore Interdisciplinary Studies major and Texas State student, disagrees with the protestors, but she tries to stay away from politics and the ongoing debate regarding the movement.

“I don’t know that much [about the purpose],” said Mirabel. “But isn’t it [that] they don’t agree with what Trump is doing?”

Mirabel’s unclear understanding of the protest’s purpose does not mean that all or even most Texas States students do not know why some football players choose to kneel during the anthem. Keith Huey, sophomore Business Marketing major at Texas State, outlined its purpose clearly.

According to Huey, “The purpose of the protest is to recognize that black lives do matter. Not only that they do matter, but that they have a voice and everyone should be considered equal.”

Each student discussed how their families feel about the protest, and three out of four of the interviewed students said their families were opposed to the movement. Alexia Thompson, freshman Art major at Texas State, offered some insight into her family’s dynamic.

“I’m biracial,” Thompson said. “So, my mother doesn’t think [the movement is] a good thing… There are conflicting viewpoints in my family.”

Despite the differences of each interview, all agreed on one thing: Trump’s response to the protest and its participants. Each student agreed that, even if they agree with the president’s viewpoint, they disagree with the way he handles most political issues.

According to Thompson, “It’s really strange to see [Trump’s response] because he’s the president, and he’s supposed to support freedom of speech and symbolic speech. I haven't read about it, really, but I know a little about the soldier that died and how [Trump] said [the soldier] knew what he signed up for. So... That's not disrespectful to the troops, but kneeling is?"

If you have an opinion on this issue, contact the University Star for more information on how to contribute.  

Sunday, October 29, 2017

To Kneel or Not to Kneel

Weston Howard
10/29/2017

SAN MARCOS, Texas – Students on the Texas State campus weigh in on the ongoing National Anthem protest, spearheaded by the NFL.
The debate regarding whether or not to stand during the national anthem varies widely from person to person. So much so that it can’t be pigeon-holed by one or even a few factors.
One thing that seems to remain true to the man among students who were interviewed is that the protests have nothing to do with the troops or what they’re fighting for, but more so about what’s happening in the United States in general. As one student, Chris Montez puts it,
“"I know they're not doing it to dishonor our troops and what we do, it's more of what's going on around the United States and what's going on."
            While some see the protests as a positive thing, others see them as an unnecessary problem that we’ve created, causing more harm than good. Freshman Grace Williams says,
            "I feel like the protest itself is okay, they have a right to protest and what they're protesting is valid. Although I feel the way they did that caused a big ruckus, it's not really helping their cause. Nothing good has come from it."
            President Trump has made comments about making it mandatory to stand for the National Anthem, to which has created a seemingly universal disapproval. Texas State football player David Oh feels that to take it that far is something that isn’t justifiable.
            “Mandatory?... It’s good to do it to show respect… but I don’t think you need to be required to do it… maybe someone did leg day and they just want to sit down…as long as you are listening and singing along it’s fine.”
            While agreeing that people should stand, student Matt Peveto feels similar to David, in the matter that its about showing respect more than anything.
            "That's kind of a trick situation there. I don't think it should be a mandatory petition but I think it's respectful in the same way. Like you wouldn't disrespect a veteran or anything but I don't think he can just throw that out there like 'you have to stand up' so I mean that's a fine line right there. I think that should be worded differently. It's kind of like your teacher coming and saying, you HAVE to be here, when you really don't. You should be here so I think he could go about that differently."
Some, including student Shania Egland, see Trumps comments towards the matter disrespectful in and of themselves, not only towards the NFL but to the country as a whole.
            "I feel like Trump doesn't have respect for the Constitution at all. For the simple fact that is in the very first amendment so it's at the beginning. It says that you have freedom of speech, you have freedom of press. Like we're give all of these freedoms so why can we not exercise them? I don't feel like he has the right to tell people how they should feel. Especially in regards to him, I feel that he is afraid of criticism so he tries to shut down how other people, tries to numb their voices so that he doesn’t feel as bad as he really is. I don't feel like he has the right to do that at all."
            This talk regarding the first amendment and what it all entails seems to be a recurring theme with students and appears to be the underlying issue that irks most people, including Gaby Vergera, about the President’s comments.
            “We are allowed to say what we want, when we want no matter what. I know people are just like oh it’s a profession and you shouldn’t tie your political views into it but it’s more than that, they’re using their platform to speak out and actually say something.”
            

Friday, October 27, 2017

Diverse Sources Interviews

Kaila Garrett | kjg73@txstate.edu 

Christian Montez, 18, Freshman 

1. What do you know about the recent National Anthem protests? 

"I know that they're doing it for Colin Kaepernick, mostly for him to get a job and what's going on in politics."

2. How effective do you feel the protests are?

"I know they're not doing it to dishonor our troops and what we do, it's more of what's going on around the United States and what's going on."

3. How do you feel about our president calling the players "idiots"? How do you feel about President Trump urging owners to fire players who kneel?

"I understand where Trump is coming from, since he is our president and kneeling for our anthem is kind of disrespectful. Although, to fire them from their job and what they do, you know they have the right and I disagree."

4.Why do you feel Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, kneeled with his players at first, but later threatened to fire those who continued to kneel?

"Probably the outcome of what people are going to say. I know that the ratings have been going down in the NFL and people don't want to see that."

5. If kneeling during the National Anthem becomes illegal, what do you feel the outcome will be?

"If it does become illegal, I feel protests will become a major thing. People will be outraged, they have a say on how they feel about what's going on."


Grace Williams, 18, Freshman

1. What do you know about the recent National Anthem protests?

"From what I heard is that African-American football players kneeled to the flag to bring attention to the problems in the black community with police brutality. They did that during the game to bring attention to it because everybody watches football."

2. How effective do you feel the protests are?

"I feel like the protest itself is okay, they have a right to protest and what they're protesting is valid. Although I feel the way they did that caused a big ruckus, it's not really helping their cause. Nothing good has come from it."

3. How do you feel about our president calling the players "idiots"? How do you feel about President Trump urging owners to fire players who kneel?

"I think it's childish for him to do that. He has the right to feel that way and to say that. To call them idiots is a little too much. People have the right to protest. If I was in the position of the manager, I wouldn't accept that because I feel like it's disrespectful to protest or kneel for the flag.

4. Why do you feel Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, kneeled with his players at first, but later threatened to fire those who continued to kneel?

"They kneeled before the anthem. To me that was good because it still gave voice to the protest, but it still respected the flag. It might be because of money honestly. The Dallas Cowboys is such an American team, people love them so much. I think if he didn't stand up, it would look bad on the Cowboys."

5. If kneeling during the National Anthem becomes illegal, what do you feel the outcome will be?

"Controversy. I think people for kneeling would be really upset because it's America, you're allowed to protest."

Diverse Sources Interview Quotes

1: Why do you feel people should stand during the national anthem?

“…It’s a sign of respect: showing your pride of being American.”

2: What does the national anthem mean to you?

“I am glad I am living in the United States. I kinda feel obligated respect it.”

3: What do you think about football players kneeling for the National Anthem?

“Well I was a football player myself, so… it doesn’t really bother me that much as long as you are listening and being respectful you don’t have to stand. If you don’t want to stand then don’t stand.”

4: What do you think the goal is for the kneeling football players?

“I have no idea why they are doing this. I play football but I don’t follow it.”

5: Share your thoughts on Trump’s petition for it to be mandatory to stand during the National Anthem?

“Mandatory?... It’s good to do it to show respect… but I don’t think you need to be required to do it… maybe someone did leg day and they just want to sit down…as long as you are listening and singing along it’s fine.”

-David Oh


1: Why do you feel people should stand during the national anthem?

“It’s more out of respect. There is actual people that fought for their country and it’s kind of disrespectful. You’re forgetting what actually happened in order for us to be here and do what we want to do.”

2: What does the national anthem mean to you?

“It means freedom and that there is people out there that are fighting to be free and they have made sacrifices for us.”

3: What do you think about football players kneeling for the National Anthem?

“I’ve had family in the military so some are very against the whole thing. I understand it’s not toward the flag, it’s more towards the president and his comments and the things he was saying. I feel like they are doing it during the National Anthem because that is a way of them getting their message out.”

4: What do you think the goal is for the kneeling football players?

“It’s to get a message across that what he [Donald Trump] is saying is not right “He shouldn’t be doing this,” and their intention is not to hurt anyone, it’s just freedom of speech it’s just a peaceful protest.”

5: Share your thoughts on Trump’s petition for it to be mandatory to stand during the National Anthem?

“I feel like you should stand but you don’t necessarily have to participate in it. At least you have to show some type of respect for it. I’ve had teachers in the past that if you didn’t stand during the pledge they got really offended because they were in the military”


-Kayla