If Cal football takes knee during national anthem, fans should too

editorial_kneel_football

NFL players across the country took a knee this Sunday during the national anthem in protest of President Donald Trump’s disparaging remarks toward athletes who had already participated in this movement. If members of the Cal football team follow their lead and make a statement in Oregon next weekend, the fans should support them.

When Trump publicly condemned (in a tweet, no less) football players’ rights to peacefully protest, he created an unprecedented level of political unity in the sports world. On Sunday, players of all beliefs across the NFL, and even different sports, stood arm in arm with a powerful message: The president doesn’t get to decide which kind of peaceful protest is acceptable and which is not.

It all started in 2016, when Colin Kaepernick, a reserve quarterback for the 49ers, took a knee during the national anthem to take a stand against police brutality. His action prompted a symbolic movement across the country by other football players.

Should Cal football players, and all Cal athletes, follow the lead of professional teams — nearly every member of the Oakland Raiders took a knee during the anthem Sunday — they would not be acting without precedent.

In December 2014, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the Cal women’s basketball team wore T-shirts stamped with “I can’t breathe,” referencing Eric Garner’s death at the hands of a police officer.

And in October 2016, football players at Berkeley High School took a knee to protest racial inequality and diversity issues at BHS, following the example of Kaepernick.

College athletes should take the platform they hold seriously. Last week, nearly 50,000 fans watched Cal Football play USC. Many more watched the game on ABC.

Making a statement like kneeling during the anthem would send a powerful message to these viewers that college athletes do not turn a blind eye to systemic racism that so many suffer from in this country.  

Editorials represent the majority opinion of the Editorial Board as written by the opinion editor.

Clarification(s):
A previous version of this editorial may have implied Cal Football players are on the field during the national anthem. In fact, they are not. The editorial has been updated to reflect that Cal athletes can use their platform to support this movement.

Correction(s):
A previous version of this editorial incorrectly stated that nearly 50,000 fans watched as Cal Football players honored the flag during the national anthem. In fact, Cal Football players were not on the field during the national anthem.

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  • forever_knight102

    Nobody should support this insult to our once great nation. We should all stand and show respect for those who died to make our nation free

  • Man with Axe

    Wouldn’t it be better to protest separately from the national anthem, so as not to offend so many people who find such protests disrespectful? Why not salute the flag in a patriotic manner, without black fists or locked arms, and then have your protest when it is over?

    • BlackConservative

      Yes it would be far better, however, the left doubles down on everything. The flag is for unity and does not stand for Trump or black oppression. Do other blacks not understand that many of these police departments are headed or were headed by african americans and half the police force in many of these large cities are black. I’m just confused. We need to fight the real problem, my brothers killing other brothers. Why does Lebron James every bring up the fact that the majority of black deaths are at the hands of other blacks. Is it because he isn’t very educated and just indoctrinated with speaking points, yes to the later. It’s right in front of us and we want to deny it because it’s hard to acknowledge how bad our culture has become. I really believe 70% of my black friends are actually conservative but back democrat down the ticket every election because, well, thats what you’re supposed to do because the republicans are EVIL, yet in these democratic cities that have been run by democrats for the last 20 years, there is not positive change for the black community and the poor, so I ask other blacks, why do you continue to vote for the party that does not keep it’s promises and expects our vote?!? It’s all pure propaganda that has gone on for far too long that there is a boogie monster on the other side.

      • s randall

        …so I ask other blacks, why do you continue to vote for the party that does not keep it’s promises and expects our vote?!?

        Look at what’s happening with Latinos. A judge is attacked for his heritage. A wall. Suspension of DACA.

        I am assuming that you are here and not somewhere like the Charlottesville or Charlotte for that matter.

        http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article174952226.html

        • BlackConservative

          I do not understand.

          • s randall

            If you’re really a person of color, there are people that will never look past that. There are of course racists in the Democratic Party, but I think there are more of them in the Republican Party. Especially in red states.

            Trump in fact may someday have to protect his own son-in-law from some of the crazies he is now enabling. It hopefully won’t come to that, but it could. It happened in Germany.

          • lspanker

            If you’re really a person of color, there are people that will never look past that.

            You mean if you’re a LEFTY, you will never look past that, because your whole worldview is consumed by race. Everything YOU do is couched in terms of you being the savior of people of color, with those evil nasty conservatives staying up late at night to figure out how to oppress brown and black folks. It’s quite narcissistic and condescending..

            There are of course racists in the Democratic Party, but I think there are more of them in the Republican Party. Especially in red states.

            BS. The BIGGEST racists are liberal left Democrats who think that black folks are helpless and dependent, can’t ever succeed on their own, owe white liberals some debt of eternal unquestioning gratitude, and get quite nasty when those same black folks reject that condescending attitude and think for themselves. Witness the bile and vitriol that white liberal Democrats heap on Clarence Thomas, Ben Carson, Condoleeza Rice, et. al. for daring to question the benevolence and wisdom of liberals…

            Trump in fact may someday have to protect his own son-in-law from some of the crazies he is now enabling.

            More abject silliness from someone who projects his own hangups on others…

          • s randall

            nobody in Africa is going to give you a college scholarship because you can run fast or throw a ball, and it’s not like most of them made it to Cal on their GPA or SAT scores

            You wrote that didn’t you?

          • lspanker

            What about it is factually incorrect? When most African countries choose to provide financial aid for the very few college students that receive it, it’s genuinely for their best and brightest, with the understanding that they will be studying science, engineering, medicine, agriculture, or some technical field that will provide some MATERIAL BENEFIT to the people of their country upon their return home. They don’t hand out full-ride scholarships to play some sport, and for a good reason – they simply don’t have that type of money to throw away. The whining, spoiled ingrates (and their idiot liberal apologists) refuse to realize how a young black man in America has opportunities that he would NEVER receive anywhere else. Should you disagree with me on that point, why don’t you have a talk one day with some Cal student from Ghana or Kenya or Nigeria, like the ones that I met and studied with when I was doing my undergrad studies there? To a man, each one of them would be more than happy to swap his citizenship with a black American ANY day of the year, and they would tell that to you up front.

          • BlackConservative

            That is true and in my life there are very few that are actually outward racist to me. I do not feel like a victim as many other feel and that may be why I feel the way I do politcally these days.. I don’t vote on party based on how many people may or may not be racists based on this weird culture war. Look back into history and you can see many democratic racists trying to gain blacks just for the votes. I want the left and the right to look at the serious issues plaguing the black community. I think it’s a racist action to deceive blacks with propaganda that they are ALL victims of some white people because i do not think that solves any problems, and it appears to just make things worse for the black community. It appears the left doesn’t try to help on the real issues like black on black crime, drugs in the inner cities and lack of school choice for those who want to get out, but rather fight this mystical oppression. I mean the poorest, most violent and divided cities/communities have been voting democrat for decades, why have they not seen improvement? I want answers to those questions, not who might have the most racist people because I do not think as a whole Americans are very racist compared to where I have been all over the world. This is my opinion based on my observations and research. Please educate me if I am wrong but please don’t just shout that people are racists with little evidence and then start of by saying “if you’re really a person of color”. That is offensive and racist to me that you are trying to tell me what I should think based on what you have been taught. To me Nazi Germany more represents how the far-left is acting right now with this cultural war, race baiting and pushing for more and more social programs so that we rely more and more on the government. I’m really more of a libertarian and wish others would let others live and allow them to speak and allow them to think for themselves.

  • Man with Axe

    You wrote: “When Trump publicly condemned (in a tweet, no less) football players’ rights to peacefully protest…”

    That is wrong. He has criticized the way they have used that right, he has criticized the NFL for not doing something about it, but I have not heard Trump condemn their right to peacefully protest. We all now that exercising rights is not always cost-free.

  • Rollie

    ”…kneeling during the anthem would send a powerful message to these viewers that college athletes do not turn a blind eye to systemic racism that so many suffer from in this country.”

    And there it is: Not kneeling is “…turning a blind eye.” You’re either with us or against us.

    Do you not conceive that a player could be in complete sympathy with the protesters’ cause, yet at the same time disagree with their chosen gesture? Or that a player could have an independent reason for standing during the anthem, one that does not oppose or diminish what the kneeling players are trying to express?

    Solidarity does not require mimicry.

  • hoapres

    Race relations are at an almost historical low.

    Job well done, Obama.

  • hoapres

    Aw come on.

    Go out and get a job.

    Frankly, I am getting tired of hearing about all this racism nonsense.

    So here is a reality check.

    And

    Yes, it sounds cruel And it isn’t meant to be.

    This isn’t the deep south of the early 60s, etc. No doubt that racism was all over the place and if you were black then you had a rough time. (Yes, I suppose I should use African-American instead of Black for political correctness). If you want to get ahead then you can.

    GO OUT AND GET AN EDUCATION. GET A JOB.

    OK

    That’s tough love. But that’s life.

    No doubt that if you were born in bad economic situations then you have it worse off than someone who doesn’t.

    BUT

    This isn’t meant to be cruel. Let’s assume that you (as a race) got a bad deal. OK. Your parents did. No doubt about that. The simple fact of the matter is that 13% of the country is black but the other 87% isn’t.

    That means to get ahead out of the mess you are in that you are most likely going to have to adapt to how the other 87% live. That may not be fair but that is the way it is.

    AND

    By the Way, This whole kneeling down for the anthem (you can use the four letter of your choice) nonsense was started by a FAILED quarterback who wanted some publicity and didn’t give a DAMN about poverty, etc. Had Kaepernick, actually DONE SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE prior to his (calling it the way it is folks) publicity stunt such as going to an inner city school setting up a scholarship program, talking to inner city kids trying to keep them off drugs, etc. then while I wouldn’t have agreed with his actions then I could at least respect them as we do have a serious problem.

    • BlackConservative

      The actual issues are statistically there, however, very few in the african american community want to examine these stats over the past 50 years objectively to try to fix the inner cities. The worst segregation and poorest black communities are those with liberal leadership. Does that not show them anything?!?!?!??!?!?!?!

      • hoapres

        We have spent trillions of dollars since the War on Poverty and have little to show for it.

        It isn’t popular to say this but the modern civil right movement didn’t really start in the 60s but during WWII. You are a black soldier coming back from WW II seeing all the injustice around you taking the attitude, I am not going to put up with this crap.

        And to a large extent they didn’t.

        You had lots of struggles throughout the 40s and 50s with a slow progression towards improvement.

        Sure you had lots of injustices back then, but you have a lot of injustice today with the biggest one being this entitlement mentality.

  • Wes Edwards

    Ah, no, protest is like voting – a personal action. When at Cal during the Vietnam War, there was plenty to protest about, but you were free to express your voice as you chose. Please don’t tell me to support an action that has numerous meanings and interpretations and even if I shared one, there are certainly more ways to make your voice heard other than following one action. As for the NFL, it’s a private business, the players are not role models in my mind, and they can do what they like without offending me one way or another.

  • fred

    I think these salty comments are hilarious. Like, literally none of y’all have anything to do with Cal football, hardly any of you probably went to college, but you all want to give your opinion like any of us want it lmao. But hey, free speech ;)

    • lspanker

      Cal Alum here (1995), how about you?

      • fred

        2017. That’s also kind of sad that you’re an alum because you sound so out of touch.

        • s randall

          Probably got a break because he’s a vet.

          • lspanker

            I also studied my @ss off to get decent grades at the CC I transferred from. But I gather you’re of the thought that anyone who doesn’t agree with you can’t be halfway intelligent or a good student. So what exactly did you major in when you went to Cal again?

          • s randall

            But I gather you’re of the thought that anyone who doesn’t agree with you can’t be good student or have any brains.

            No, not necessarily. I did think that you had some sort of inferiority complex though.

          • lspanker

            The one with the inferiority complex is you. In fact, your locked Disqus profile makes it quite clear that you’re afraid to have others review your posting history, most likely because the vast majority of your posts contribute NOTHING of substance to the discussion. It’s all about calling others “ignorant” or “racist” without even defending your views regarding the topic at hand…

          • s randall

            I never called you ignorant. I insinuated that you were a racist.

          • zzz

            You didn’t answer the question.

          • s randall

            Let’s just say that I spent a lot of time in Evans Hall when Edward Teller had an office there.

          • lspanker

            Great. Hopefully the trash got emptied and the chalkboards got cleaned…

          • lspanker

            I don’t expect him to. It’s easier to dump on others than make a statement or take a position that subjects one to attack or criticism. That’s a common trait among lefties. They have to hack on everyone else because they can’t come up with a compelling argument to support their own views on a given subject.

          • s randall

            Stalker, you seem unstable. I was being careful when I locked my profile. I’m glad I did.

          • lspanker

            I don’t consider someone reviewing my profile to be stalking. Now, following me around from thread to thread so you can make some silly, substance-free comment to make your presence felt – THAT I would consider “stalking”. Not that I get overly worked up about it, as I merely have to consider the source…

          • hoapres

            Oh my god.

            You went to the military and helped defend your country and need to be sent to a reeducation camp.

            That sounds hilarious but that is how some of these people think.

            Oh by the way, Thanks for your service.

        • lspanker

          I’m in touch with the real world, not the sheltered world of spoiled little children who think they are the victims of “racism”. It’s getting quite old knowing that I’m paying taxes to support a bunch of crybabies who have it better than 99.99% of the people on this planet. If you think America is such an awful, racist place, then LEAVE – just don’t be surprised if the place you go to has no interest in funding your college education.

    • Graeme Stewart

      Yea those simpletons and their backwards ways, they know nothings right?

  • Graeme Stewart

    These “athletes” take university enrollment spots that could go to underprivileged persons of color from low income areas but you know fiedling a mediocre football team for a half filled stadium is more important.

  • Graeme Stewart

    This kneeling junk is easily the most lazy way possible to “make a statement” Changing your Facebook profile pic would have the same impact. But please do it Cal its not like you have much respect or reputation anymore anyways. You fall in the rankings academically has only just begun.

  • lspanker

    Maybe the taxpayers should punt on supporting college athletics. It’s quite annoying listening to the most spoiled, privileged, overindulged creatures on the planet (nobody in Africa is going to give you a college scholarship because you can run fast or throw a ball, and it’s not like most of them made it to Cal on their GPA or SAT scores) act like they are the most oppressed.

    • SecludedCompoundTTYS

      I’m just confused what they are trying to accomplish? Does anyone really know?

      • Graeme Stewart

        Something about oppressions… Same ole identity politics. It has the same impact as writing a Facebook post about some cause or campaign. It’s quite funny though seeing kids play right into Trumps hand.

        • SecludedCompoundTTYS

          Ok, so I’m not missing anthing. Thanks!

          • BlackConservative

            You are not missing much, that is for sure. :)

      • flashsteve

        That, of course, is the $64,000 question. Say, for the sake of argument, you agree that blacks are disadvantaged in some ways vis a vis whites (employment, incarceration, housing, whatever), how do you address it? From what I can see, there are countless laws which address these forms of discrimination. Affirmative action (of which I was a reverse ‘victim’ 45 years ago), has apparently done little to change things. There are obviously other dynamics going on here, but the protesters give no concrete clue what they want. It is clear that they want more white guilt; OK, I will feel guilty, but does that change anything?

        • hoapres

          This isn’t 1963 anymore.

        • hoapres

          It’s gotten worse.

          Race relations in this country have gotten worse over the last 8 years.

          Job well done, Obama.

          • flashsteve

            I’m not so sure. I know this sounds cliche, but I have always gotten along with black people; roommates at Cal, employees, bosses, neighbors, whatever. I think that most of the ‘racial divide’ is media-created. I do agree that black people might not be doing much better in the 48 years since I graduated Cal, but that is a somewhat different issue.

          • hoapres

            It’s worse because of the Obama entitlement mentality. No you aren’t entitled to special breaks because your parents got a raw deal. You are entitled to get an equal shot of doing whatever you want to legally do to get ahead.

            Look at Ferguson. Let’s see a gang banger gets shot by the police and all of a sudden it becomes a race riot. Reality check, the kid really was a gang banger with the best evidence being his father’s reaction on the news.

          • forever_knight102

            It’s not media created it’s Obama created

          • Laurie Roach

            Are you kidding? It’s always been there, pick up a book!

        • 1/2Black_1/4Mexican_1/4White

          I just want to unite as a country. I used to be a liberal when I went to Cal and now I took the red pill. It appears now that its not just white vs minority, but rather if you don’t agree with them than you should feel guilty and are a uneducated bigot. They confuse me to SecludedCompund…

          • hoapres

            Obama did more damage than people realize.

            That’s why we have the UnObama called Trump.

    • Graeme Stewart

      Don’t forget that according to the daily cal “The president doesn’t get to decide which kind of peaceful protest is acceptable and which is not”
      That’s for the students and administration of Berkeley to decided at the end of fist and a bike lock.

    • s randall

      It’s quite annoying listening to the most spoiled, privileged, overindulged creatures on the planet

      It was written by the Daily Cal’s editorial board.

      • lspanker

        So what did I get wrong again?

        • s randall

          it’s not like most of them made it to Cal on their GPA or SAT scores

          I don’t know why you fixate on this sort of thing. I can guess.

          • SecludedCompoundTTYS

            Bc jocks in highschool are ussualy the ones that do not do as much work and are not as smart, on average. This is statistically true and there is no argument. Then you take the most spoiled, best athletes out of that group and put them together. You know what happens? Group Think. These kids do not know anything and want to lecture others who do. Why is everyone at Cal and the bay in general obsessed with race these days? America is no more racist now than it was 15 years ago? It’s simply propaganda. I’m fine with them doing whatever they want but it doesn’t accomplish anything but a political circle jerk for the ones who feel the need to virtue signal.

          • s randall

            nobody in Africa is going to give you a college scholarship…

            You didn’t write the above. In your heart of hearts, is it racist?

          • lspanker

            What’s race got to do with it? Tell me in what countries outside the USA are going to give these alleged victims of “racism” full ride scholarships merely for playing athletics?

          • s randall

            What about you? Did you get into Cal because you are a vet?

            BTW, I have no problem with that, because I believe that vets should be given preferential treatment.

          • Graeme Stewart

            Your playing the man not the ball. When the UC system tried to make race a major factor for admission it was shot down because of a major political lobby opposed it. What lobby you ask? The Asian American lobby. They know what it means to focus on race. Unqualified students would get in over them despite being from the same communities. Yes admission on race is racist because it places supreme value on one race over another. It’s supremacy.

          • s randall

            You are right. He was just too easy a target.

          • BlackConservative

            I’m not sure if it’s racist or just unfair to asians? We need school choice for the black community, bottom line. I cannot comprehend why the left is not behind school choice? Do they really think Blacks cant think for themselves?!??!?! Makes me sick

          • Graeme Stewart

            I really hope that people of color like myself start waking up to the democratic party. We’ve had them running our communities for a generation exclusively and their local policies have only held us back. We need change.

          • lspanker

            Silly me, I have this quaint idea that college admission should be based on one’s academic merit, not on throwing a ball or having a particular color of skin. How politically incorrect of me.