Colin Kaepernick started a protest movement. The — football plplayer, rather than stand for the pledge as expected, sat and later kneeled as a silent protest against racist police brutality. US women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe joined the protest, and mentioned that as a lesbian she’s also felt a disconnect pledging her allegiance to a country that has long hated her. Other pro athletes began kneeling too.
Now high school athletes are joining as well. A Texas fifth grader kneeled while her class recited the pledge. A California high schooler had her grades lowered in retaliation for not standing for the pledge. An entire Seattle high school football team, including vpoaches, kneeled together during the pledge.
Many Americans have expressed their displeasure with the protest, with some burning Kaepernick jersey and others calling him racial slurs. Several others have supported the protest, and sales of Kaepernick jerseys to supporters have skyrocketed him to the best selling member of his team.
Now some schools want to force students to say the pledge, and not to engage in their constitutional right to peaceful protest. Before we get into the legality of this desire, let’s take a moment to examine the pledge and what it says. We learn to recite this as very young children and we’re all taught roughly the same cadernce.
I pledge allegiance/ to the flag/ of the United States of America/ and to the republic/ for which it stands/ one nation/ under God/ indivisible/ with liberty and justice for all.
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