On Sunday, many National Football League players opted to "take a knee" during the singing of the national anthem at various games across the country as a means of protesting racial injustice in the U.S. While primarily serving as means of condemning racial discrimination and injustice, Sunday's protests also served to rebuke President Trump, who recently condemned NFL players for kneeling in protest during the national anthem — and suggested that kneeling players should be fired. Many on social media captured the sentiments of the day, with myriad
"take a knee" memes and tweets demonstrating the powerful nature of the action and offering unwavering support to those players who choose to protest.
According to CNN, players from
a variety of NFL teams took action Sunday to condemn discrimination and offer support for a player's right to protest. Indeed, several players from the New England Patriots, the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Cleveland Browns, the Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins chose to kneel during the national anthem, while the Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans chose to not even go onto the field during the anthem.
every player on the Pittsburgh Steelers, save for offensive tackle and former Army ranger Alejandro Villanueva, also chose not to stand on the football field during the singing of the anthem. Many players and coaches on other teams also chose to show solidarity with their teammates and support for their right protest by standing and linking arms during the national anthem. Social media responded very strongly to Sunday's NFL protests, with many users praising NFL players and coaches for taking a stand against injustice — and reminding others why peaceful protest is so important, both as a right and as a tactic to achieve necessary change. Thus, without further ado, the following are a variety of memes and tweets that capture the powerful spirit of Sunday's protests.
This Twitter user shared a powerful visual reminding others of the message behind the "take a knee" protests.
Many took to Twitter to point out the complete disparity in the way the president has
described white nationalists versus NFL players who kneel during the national anthem — and how he has seemingly defended the protest rights of the former group but not the latter.
This Twitter user powerfully suggested that "taking a knee" serves as a way of mourning the United States' failure to respect the rights of minorities.
Francis Maxwell, a commentator for The Young Turks, pointed out the frustrating notion that some people flat out refuse to accept a person of color's right to protest.
This man shared a moving photo of his grandfather, a 97-year-old World War II veteran, who took a knee himself in order to express solidarity with the NFL players who choose to protest.
The Power Of Peaceful Protests
The ACLU of New York reminded everyone of the profound potential peaceful protests have to change society for the better.
Players Aren't Protesting The Flag
This Twitter user compared NFL players taking a knee to
Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery public bus, as both actions served as symbolic means of protesting much larger racial injustices.
Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. (and many other Twitter users) shared a list of people of color who have been killed by police officers, also noting that the officers who killed them have not received convictions related to their deaths. The list offered a powerful reminder of why NFL players, particularly
Colin Kaepernick, began taking a knee — to protest police treatment of black Americans.
Wise Words From Rosa Parks
This woman shared a powerful quote from Rosa Parks, who also bravely engaged in peaceful protest against racial injustice.
This Twitter user commended NFL players and coaches for the powerful message of unity that they delivered on Sunday.
Perseverance In The Face Of Criticism
Bernice King, a daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., reminded Twitter users that people also condemned her father for engaging in peaceful protest, just as some people, including the president, are
condemning NFL players who choose to do so. King's tweets offered an important reminder for protesters to carry on in the face of criticism.
Overall, it is clear that Sunday's NFL protests and the broader efforts of many NFL players to take a knee to protest racial injustice has resonated with many people. Hopefully Sunday's events will even further strengthen the powerful message of intolerance against racial injustice — and further entrench the notion that those who are protesting injustice have every right to do so.