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Taking a Knee

Donald J. Trump.

No, you haven't been having a nightmare. Yes, you have survived the first nine months of this presidency.

Although these statements are true, one that is not, is the fact that Trump will not turn back into former president, Barack Obama, when he eats a Snickers chocolate bar.

Professional athletes such as 49er quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, decided to kneel during the national anthem. This was the response of many African-American football players in the Black Lives Matter movement.

"He is very immature about what he thinks is right," said Hanks sophomore, Albert Villegas, regarding the president's recent comments bashing NFL players. "He's obviously going to be more supportive of white supremacists than those who openly resist him."

Little did the nation know that Kaepernick was only the first of many professional athletes to "Take a Knee" at games. This year alone, members of the Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks, and New England Patriots, have kneeled in support of their fellow team members.

As of September 2017, athletes in other professional sport organizations have joined in this form of protest. Member of the Seattle Reign FC and American Olympian, Megan Rapinoe, took a knee during the national anthem at the National Women's Soccer League game between the United States and Thailand.

"It was a little nod to Kaepernick and everything that he's standing for right now," Rapinoe told American Soccer Now after Seattle's 2-2 tie. "I think it's actually pretty disgusting the way he was treated and the way that a lot of the media has covered it and made it about something that it absolutely isn't. We need to have a more thoughtful, two-sided conversation about racial issues in this country."

Athletes and performers around the sports industry took a knee at this weekend's series of games. NBA, MLB, high school, collegiate, and even performers of the national anthem such as Detroit artist, Rico Lavelle, have voiced their disdain for the president's use of vulgar language towards Kaepernick's movement.

Professional musician, Stevie Wonder, also took a knee in the middle of his concert at the Global Citizens Festival in New York's Central Park. “Tonight, I’m taking a knee for America," Wonder said at the concert. "But not just one knee, I’m taking both knees, both knees in prayer for our planet, our future, our leaders of the world and our globe – amen.”

Active duty military and veterans have exclaimed their opinions of the "Take a Knee" movement.

Tom Baker, a Navy veteran who served in the Iraqi War, tells Business Insider, "Colin sat down and exercised his right to protest, which is something I feel we all swore an oath to defend." Navy vet of operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Theodore Robinson, stated. "The oath I took was to defend the Constitution, not the [national] anthem."

No matter how one may view the "Take a Knee" movement, it is the Constitutional right of the American people to protest what they think is disgraceful in the nation they love. It is regrettable that President Trump found it easier to use profanity against peaceful protesters than to shame the violence of white nationalists and neo-Nazis.

There is only one America, and it was great before someone told us it needed to be made great again.

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