By Monique Flores
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.