NFL players and their supporters [video] began kneeling recently to protest police brutality, discrimination, and prejudice against American minorities. They have received a lot of backlash for being disrespectful and unpatriotic toward American veterans. However, the opposite is true, NFL players can kneel or sit during the National Anthem because American people, and not just service men and women, have died for their rights. Thus, they are exercising the civil rights they have been given and demonstrating the essence of the American way – unity against injustice and inequality.

NFL players are protesting police brutality and inequality

NFL players are using their fame, status, and media attention to speak up for people who are mistreated and discriminated against because of their skin color or ethnicity. In an August 2016 NFL Media report Colin Kaepernick said, "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color… There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder," Kaepernick was referring to police brutality against people of color. One incident includes a 2016 shooting in which Tulsa police shot and killed an unarmed man. The Tulsa police shooting is one among many police brutality incidents seen across the media in recent years.

The NFL players are speaking for millions of people who are not being heard because they are not in the spotlight.

NFL Players are not unpatriotic, they are teaching unity

As seen on Sunday, Jerry Jones, owner of the Dallas Cowboys, kneeled along with his team before the National Anthem was sung. Likewise, the Washington Redskins, and according to The Mercury News, the "Seattle Seahawks at Tennessee Titans, Miami Dolphins at the New York Jets, Houston Texans at New England Patriots, New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles…" and more teams united in response to President Trump's claims that NFL Players who kneel during the anthem should be removed from the field.

NFL players are exercising their rights as Americans to freedom of speech and expression. Their owners, coaches, and fellow team members, regardless of color or ethnicity are uniting as Americans should, to support equality and civil rights to all. The Mercury News report explains the Seattle Seahawks stated, “As a team, we have decided we will not participate in the national anthem.

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.” NFL players are not unpatriotic, they are exercising the rights that millions of American men and women have died to uphold.