The Kneeing Protest or widely knows as U.S. National Anthem Protests have been on going in America since 2016. The protests began in the National Football League (NFL) after San Francisco49ersquarterback Colin Kaepernick sat and later kneeled during the anthem, as opposed to the tradition of standing, before his team's preseason games of 2016.Throughout the 2016 season, members of various NFL and other sports teams have engaged in similar silent protests. On September 24, 2017, the NFL protests became more widespread when over 200 players sat or kneeled in response to President Donald Trump's calling for owners to fire the protesting players
Kaepernick was moved to protest by the deaths of numerous African Americans by police actions or while in police custody that gained prominence in the media through the Black Lives Matters Movement. During a post-game interview on August 26, 2016, he stated, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder" After that interview, Kaepernick pledged to donate the first $1 million of his $11.9 million salary from the 2016–2017 season to different organizations that help communities in need. He pledged to donate $100,000 per month for 10 months to various organizations.
In September 2016, U.S. President Barack Obama stated that Kaepernick was "exercising his constitutional right" to protest. He went on: "I don't doubt his sincerity. I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that have to be talked about. If nothing else, he's generated more conversation about issues that have to be talked about."
U.S. Supreme Court JusticeRuth Bader Ginsburg criticized the protest as "dumb and disrespectful," stating that athletes have the right to protest "if they want to be stupid." The U.S. Supreme Court later issued a statement from Ginsburg stating that her comments were "inappropriately dismissive and harsh. I should have declined to respond."
Kneeling during antham protest have been going on mainly in NFL. But other athletes and public figures started to join the protest after President Trump speech in Huntsville, Alabama. During his speech he said NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem, and encouraged fans to walk out. Trump advised NFL owners to say "Get that son of a **** off the field right now, out, he's fired. He's fired!" Trump called the players' protest "a total disrespect of our heritage." (Video Below)
The number of players joining the protest increased after the Trump's statement. Even Teams are joined their players in the kneeling protest.