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Taking a Knee For Black Lives Matter

Ever since Colin Kaepernick first started sitting on the bench during a preseason game back on September 21, 2016, during the pledge, people paid little attention to it. Now that he has transitioned to taking a knee during the pledge and over time has had many people join him in his movement against police brutality.

Kaepernick says he moved to taking a knee because he wanted to “show respect to the military” even with people assuming it is disrespectful to the flag and the country as a whole. I agree wholeheartedly with his statement, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people, and people of color." Kaepernick said in a press conference after first sitting out during the anthem. "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."

The recent unarmed deaths of MANY people including but not limited to Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray and Eric Garner who all have never gotten any justice from the police departments of their cities towards the officers who murdered them are the reason why I strongly support now and always Black Lives Matter.

Starting with Alton Sterling,“Sterling was a black man who lived in an America that consistently devalues, disrespects and destroys black lives,” HuffPost Black Voices editor Lilly Workneh wrote in July 2017. Sterling was shot for a LIE that two police officers made up saying that he had been reaching for a gun thus giving them a suitable reason to shoot him twice, once standing over his dying body at close range. The officers associated with the case were never charged based off a lack of evidence.

Freddie Gray is my next point of agreement, He had been restrained with handcuffs and leg irons, but not a seat belt and ended up dying with a fatal spinal cord injury while traveling in the back of a police transport van says The Baltimore Sun. They found that the Justice Department commented “‘an extensive review of this tragic event, conducted by career prosecutors and investigators,” officials concluded that “the evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt” that the officers involved in Gray’s arrest “willfully violated” his civil rights.” Another death that occurred almost three years ago goes unsolved and left the family and Freddie without Justice.

My last case of interest is the case of Eric Garner a 42 year old man was murdered because he was allegedly said to be selling illegal cigarettes on the sidewalk. Officers compressed his chest and neck in an illegal chokehold causing his untimely death. The officers were both not charged with any charges but the supervisor presiding over them was charged internally for failure to supervise.

All this evidence is to reiterate that all these unarmed and unjust killings have occurred in the past three years and made me feel strongly about the results of each and how young each of these three gentlemen were before their untimely deaths arrived involuntarily. I respect Colin Kaepernick’s decision to start this protest along with many other americans and military personnel throughout the country. As the seahawks reportedly said to CNN writer Elliot McLaughlin and Darran Simon, "We will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country. Out of love for our country and in honor of the sacrifices made on our behalf, we unite to oppose those that would deny our most basic freedoms," the Seahawks players said in the statement. When I heard of this great movement I felt great pride in all the peoeple involved, it takes alot of courage to do start a movement as effective as this one.