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.”