The Bay Area used to be a historic hotbed of progressive thought and relative tolerance as far as how the mainstream viewed disenfranchised peoples. Though far from the heydays of the hippy movement that baby boomers liked to rain damnation upon, the area still holds a great deal of nostalgia for those who remember those times, and a great deal of inspiration for those who look to the examples of old to guide their fellow countryman to the future, kicking and screaming if necessary.
Indeed, the sacrifice of former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, and his former teammate Eric Reid‘s steadfast loyalty to Kaep and the cause he helped birth. We also know that Oakland native and current Raider Marshawn Lynch has never stood during the national anthem.
It is in that light that a San Francisco 49ers cheerleader, now identified as Kayla, is garnering headlines as the result of taking a knee and placing a hand on her hip in the end zone during the national anthem.
This appears to be the first time this has happened. // Cheerleader kneels during national anthem at NFL game https://t.co/dfQiRS58S4
Her action follows the path that Kap and Reid maintain, one that conflicts with the decision by players such as Malcolm Jenkins, who no longer pursue silent protest as a form of raising awareness of social injustice.
Carolina Panthers safety still has a lot to say about how his Philadelphia Eagles counterpart coopting the protest movement for funding.
Though this act is courageous, cheerleaders have far fewer rights than players within this particular construct we call the National Football League. For the past two seasons, Donald Trump has terrorized and cowed NFL ownership into doing his dirty work for him. Though the Orange Maniacs ire is currently aimed elsewhere at the moment, more of this will certainly draw his attention.
According to Eric Reid, the Players Coalition is just neo-colonialism and a way to get players to stop protesting altogether as a result of Trump’s constant meddling.
Though there is officially no protest policy in place by the NFL, the cheerleaders don’t have the power of the NFLPA behind them. Much respect is due, but single acts of protest are easily squashed. Here’s to wishing everything works out for the young lady, whoever she is.