'South Park' premiere parodies national anthem protest

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The Orange County school district said students must have parents' permission to kneel during the National Anthem at sporting events.

While the national anthem played during the team's game on September, the junior knelt on one knee on the sideline as a silent protest.

Bishop E.W. Jackson started an online petition calling on the NFL to require all football players and employees to stand in respect for the National Anthem and the American flag. Because of the protests, several games are now on National broadcasting networks like ESPN and NBC.

Kaepernick has become the figurehead for a growing movement around the league and admitted he can foresee a situation whereby he ends his protest, but only if he feels it has had the desired effect.

Americans are a diverse lot who show their patriotism in many ways. Other NFL players, including Devin McCourty and Martellus Bennett of the Patriots, raised a fist during the anthem. The University of Portland can embrace and foster a community in which everyone has a place, and in which black lives matter. Kansas City Chief cornerback Marcus Peters said in an interview after the game. I, for one, will boycott every sport and sponsor, and not support any politician who does not distinctively honor those who have sacrificed for freedoms for all Americans.

Athletes not only risk losing fans with their expression of protest, but many athletes risk losing sponsors.

Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall also joined the protest last week ahead of the Broncos matchup with the Carolina Panthers. Soccer star Megan Rapinoe took a stand and followed in his footsteps. He said the protest was disrespectful toward the armed forces. He goes on to say that players were moved onto the field during the anthem as a marketing strategy to make them look more patriotic. "I think it was the right time to do that".

Beyond courage, Kaepernick has chosen to participate in a small but growing group of minority athletes who have used their celebrity spotlight as a platform against injustice. (In November, a Senate committee revealed that the Pentagon paid various sports teams at least $6.8 million for some of these tributes). Not so common are ceremonies in which the National Football League trotted out, say, an award-winning teacher.

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