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Should athletes kneel during the national anthem?
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The ability to protest is a first amendment right these athletes are entitled to

It is guaranteed by the first amendment that all Americans have the right to protest whatever issue they want. Athletes are just normal people who have these rights as well, and kneeling is just a legitimate exercise of their constitutional rights.

The Argument

The first amendment guarantees the right of any individual to the freedom of speech and to peaceably petition the government for a redress of grievances.[1] Regardless of whether or not Kaepernick’s viewpoint is right or whether his actions are actually helping the movement, the right to kneel in the middle of the pre-game anthem is a right that he must be entitled to. Just like anyone else in society, athletes are humans and citizens. Therefore their right to talk about anything they want at any time they want should be guaranteed. This right exists because America, since its founding, has believed that individuals always best understand the circumstances of their life and that any complaint an individual has should be taken as legitimate. If Kaepernick wants to kneel and believes that racism is a problem that threatens him and those he cares about, and certain audience members have seen his actions and agree with him, it is fully within all of their rights to do so.[2]

Counter arguments

Having the right to do something doesn’t make that action the correct thing to do. No one challenges the fact that Kaepernick had a right to kneel. This debate is meant to be about whether or not his kneeling was justified or effective. This argument doesn’t show that athletes should be kneeling. Additionally, just as Kaepernick has a right to free speech and protest, the NFL and the football team that he plays on also have an equal right to choose not to sign on players that they deem unhelpful for their team. According to American law, the right to hire at will is an internal company matter that has been guaranteed to companies. Therefore, even though it was legitimate for Kaepernick to speak out, it was also legitimate for the San Fransisco 49ers to choose not to sign him on for another season.[3]



[P1] Kneeling is within every citizen's constitutional right to free speech and protest.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Having a right to do something doesn't make that action correct.


This page was last edited on Monday, 26 Oct 2020 at 01:00 UTC

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