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Students split on Kaepernick controversy


Middletown High School students recently reacted to controversial news centered around Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers quarterback, who, for the third time, refused to stand for the National Anthem before a game.

The incident occurred on Saturday, Aug. 20, when 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.”

MHS students and staff had mixed opinions on the subject.

“I think he has the right to do what he wants. It’s his choice and I’ll support him through it. I do believe it’s not the government that’s oppressing, though; it’s the people,” said MHS sophomore Reid Fedors.

Many people agreed with Fedors.

MHS sophomore Emma Sandler said that Kaepernick had the right to stand up for what he believes in. “It blew out of proportion because people thought he was being disrespectful, I don’t think that was his intention at all,” she said.

MHS sophomore Caroline Schaeffer said, “I understand why he did it, but you can’t blame the whole country for the actions of few.”

Lots of opposition came with the topic, as well.

“I’m against him not standing. It’s about respect for our country. This country is providing him with many resources. It’s a cowardly thing to do and it’s all about a matter of respect,” said MHS science teacher Eileen Chestnutt.

There were multiple responses along the lines of Chestnutt’s.

MHS sophomore Payton Lowery asked, “Why can’t he stand if people are dying for him and the freedom of this country?”

“He has the right to do what he did and I respect that. I don’t agree with sitting during the National Anthem. There’s other ways to make your opinion known,” said MHS physical education teacher Tim Leber. “America is built on freedom. I applaud the guts, though. That was a very gutsy move, but I disagree with the actions.”

One opinion was split directly down the center.

“Part of me believes what he’s doing is okay. He has the right to do it, but he’s not doing it on the right platform. He has a large leadership role and can do great things; this could change others views of him,” said Mike DeSimone, MHS athletic director.

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About the Contributor
Jake Stafford, Newsroom managing editor
Jake Stafford is a senior at Middletown High School and in his sixth semester of journalism. He is the newsroom managing editor alongside Audrey Fisher. He is attending Lehigh University where he will study economics and get his bachelors. He swims year round for Monocacy Aquatic Club and intends on swimming at Lehigh as well. Jake’s goal is to work on Wall Street following the completion of his MBA. His hobbies include watching football with friends, watching Netflix, and playing video games.

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Students split on Kaepernick controversy