In the aftermath of this weekend's unprecedented collective and action of solidarity among NFL players, following bewildering criticism from Donald Trump, we've seen organizations like NASCAR owners threaten to fire its drivers and/or crew for kneeling during the national anthem, a continuous ratings slump for Sunday Night Football on NBC, and a growing debate surrounding the legitimacy of the First Amendment.
The kneel, which began with former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who intended to draw attention to police violence against African Americans, back in August 2016 (beginning with the athlete initially sitting out during the anthem), has been a symbol in the polarized topic of oppression and racial injustice in the United States as it goes from tucked in the background to out in the forefront. Reactions to the #TakeAKnee movement and Trump's comments over the weekend, were both physical and vocal from celebrities and cultural figures.
Pharrell takes a knee pic.twitter.com/ev9qcEfFhl— pharrell's junebug (@angelAmyV) September 25, 2017
This shit breaks my heart that mother fuckers want to keep their foots on our necks!!! God bless you brother and thank you for your candor. pic.twitter.com/brWWwZ7f4J— Sean Diddy Combs (@diddy) September 25, 2017
The act of facing overwhelming odds produces greatness and beauty.— Gucci Mane (@gucci1017) September 24, 2017
As a football fan, I am proud of the NFL players today. Nothing is more American than the right to peacefully protest.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) September 24, 2017
I think: By kneeling, players don’t disrespect the flag.They ask US to respect the flag. They ask us to make the anthem true for all of us.— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) September 24, 2017
“When the israelis pick up guns, or the Poles, or the Irish or any white man in the world, says ‘Give me liberty or give me death’ the entire white world applauds. When a black man says exactly the same thing, word for word, he is judged a criminal and treated like one. And everything possible is done to make an example out of this bad nigger so there won’t be anymore like him...” - #JamesBaldwin #WordForWord #FreedomUnlessYouTryToActFree @NFL @kaepernick7 @nflnetwork #TakeAKnee #TakeTheKnee
God bless every player that finds courage to kneel today. But the real power comes from you deciding to not watch.— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 24, 2017
Thank you Colin for your sacrifice.— J. Cole (@JColeNC) September 24, 2017
Bob Costas: "Patriotism comes in many forms..." pic.twitter.com/IMlLtXFsVU— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) September 25, 2017