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October 2017 - page 3

Trump’s War with the National Football League

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  • Kneel-1.png
    San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick knelt during the national anthem for the first time during exhibition game against the San Diego Chargers. Chris Carlson/Associated Press.
  • Kneel-2.png
    97-year-old WWII veteran John Middlemas took a knee at his home in Missouri in support of NFL players while wearing his veterans cap. Brendan Gilmore.

The San Francisco 49ers faced off against the former San Diego Chargers in a preseason exhibition game on Sept. 1, 2016.

As usual, before kickoff, players, coaches, referees and fans stood for the national anthem. But out of the 68,500 people in Levi Stadium that participated in the singing of the national anthem, Colin Kaepernick, the former starting quarterback for the 49ers, took a knee. Naturally, the sports world was shaken by Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the anthem honoring our country’s soldiers, flag and independence.

Kaepernick later explained to NFL reporters that he took a knee during the anthem as a way to peacefully protest the shooting of unarmed African Americans and the police brutality that they have endured. Although this was a legitimate explanation, it would still be an unending reservoir of conversation that would continue for the duration of the 2016 NFL season through the beginning of the 2017 NFL season.

Now that the NFL season has begun anew, the topic of kneeling during the national anthem has resurfaced. Several NFL players such as Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Von Miller and LeSean McCoy have joined Kaepernick in his protest.

After the conclusion of the third week of this new NFL season, President Donald Trump addressed the subject that began over a year ago at a rally in Huntsville, Alabama for the campaign of Senator Luther Strange. During the rally, President Trump addressed a litany of topics and issues including the increase in NFL players kneeling during the national anthem. However, due to the president’s display of foul language and lack of a vocabulary, reporters were unable to fully disclose what he said.

On Sept. 23, Trump posted on Twitter and said, “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”

Trump would post another 16 tweets to bolster his opposition of this topic including a tweet that stated that the NFL’s ratings are “way down” not only because the players are kneeling during the national anthem, but he also attributed the low ratings to boring games. Because of this comment, there has been tremendous backlash between the office of the President and the National Football League. These repercussions include a great upsurge of players kneeling during the national anthem.

Now, there are well over 200 documented players that take a knee during the national anthem, not to mention entire teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys that lock arms during the singing of the anthem. In the case of the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans, players opted not to take the field during the playing of the “Star-Spangled Banner.” These teams as well as several others, are choosing to make a stand for something that they believe in, yet they are being condemned and ridiculed by the president.

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said, “I think we have to celebrate their right to express themselves, as every American does.”

President Trump is opposed to players kneeling because he believes that it is a clear discourtesy of the flag and the veterans who risked their lives to protect the freedom of the citizens of the United States. Thus, he stated that the “league should back the U.S,” implying that the NFL should align their policies with country.

What the President doesn’t realize is the fact that the American armed forces and veterans fight in order to safeguard the rights of the people under the nation’s laws and Constitution. If those rights are infringed upon or aren’t being exercised, then the sacrifices of those who are in the military lose their importance. Knowing this, many veterans and soldiers support NFL players in their protest, because it means that the veterans were successful in protecting the rights of the American people.

John Middlemas, a 97-year-old World War II veteran said, “Those kids have a right to protest.” So, if veterans of this nation who have actually engaged in combat are in support of individuals voicing their opinions and exercising their First Amendment right, then why does President Trump have an issue with it? It poses the question, who is really attempting to disrespect and suppress those who are utilizing their rights? Are the players of the NFL at fault for simply making a stand against the evident racial divide and violence, or is it President Trump for attempting to subdue the players’ right to protest?

Due to the popularity of football and its amusing digital counterpart, fantasy football, this topic is prevalent in the Wesleyan community.

Senior Holt Cochran said, “The players that are kneeling during the national anthem are nonviolently protesting a social justice issue. They are using their platform as celebrities in a sport that is a huge part of our culture to express their views on police brutality and discrimination against minorities, an issue they believe needs more attention. It is within their constitutional right to kneel for the national anthem, because they are exercising their freedom of speech.”

The world needs more people who are willing to openly profess their personal views. The players who are publicly making a statement in spite of what the fans, officials or even the President believe are the people who act as the voice for the voiceless.

Recipe for Last Minute DIY Halloween Costumes

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There are many ways to incorporate your interests into an exciting Halloween costume.

Senior Grayson Ragsdale dressed up one year as a Roy Liechtenstein comic book character, which included “a ton of makeup but was super fun.” In addition to the excitement of wearing something that you created, there are many advantages that come with wearing a DIY (do it yourself) costume, and according to senior Sarah Moon, “you can save money and show off your creativity.”

Senior Cassie Henning said, “I love making my own costumes because I can add my own personal flare.”

Major disclaimer: I am not artistic by any means, so if I am able to make these DIY Halloween costumes all by myself, I know that you can do the same. If you are in a pinch on Oct. 31 and have been too busy to create a look that is grandiose and frightening all at the same time, just follow one of the “recipes” below to master the perfect Halloween look. Keep Reading

Netflix and Cooler Weather

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When most people think about October, the first ideas that come to their minds are typically pumpkins and all things spooky.

However, October is just as exciting as Christmas morning for Netflix watchers everywhere. New seasons, shows and movies all premiered in October, and here are just a few that will make sure to keep fans occupied while in a warm sweater drinking apple cider.

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Comics Come to Life in Middle School Play

in Fine Arts by

When a comic book artist’s magical pen brings action and adventure to the Lencke Theater stage, it is up to a group of quirky middle school superheroes to save the day. The middle school fall play, “The Comic Book Artist,” told the story of D.C. Wunderman, a comic book shop owner, who accidentally brings a supervillain to life off the page of the comics.

Aspiring artist Stanley Leonardo Sappovitz, played by eighth grader Davis Olds, must save the city by creating a league of superheroes, The Fabulous Four.

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Monday at the 201: Students Engage in Young Life

in News by

After a long Monday of schoolwork and sports practices, dozens of Wesleyan high school students come together at “the 201” to enjoy Young Life Club. From dressing up in themed costumes to dancing and singing with friends, everyone is bound to have a memorable experience at Club. Young Life is a unique way for students to build new relationships outside of school with friends, leaders and Jesus.

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