by: Olivia Marshall, Rebecca Neal, Lynn Hall
Following 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand during the national anthem, many other athletes joined him in taking a knee. This started a widespread National Anthem Protest at sporting events around the country, and student athletes at MHS have shared their opinions on the National Anthem, sportsmanship, and how they show respect as a team.
We’ve asked Madison’s Seniors Devan Berry (Football QB), Mason Downey (Football WR), Caleb Clay (Soccer), and Kayla Horne (Cheer), as well as Juniors Danielle Weaver (Volleyball) and Ellie Anderson (Cross Country) what they think of this movement and sportsmanship in general.
What do you think of the Colin Kaepernick movement?
Mason Downey: I like that he’s taken a stand for something he believes in, but I don’t like the way he is going about it. I think it’s just kind of disrespectful to the flag and all those veterans that have fought for it and risked their lives for the nation.
Devan Berry: I don’t really support it, because when you’re part of a team you shouldn’t do anything that jeopardizes the way your team looks. I think he’s fine to protest if he wants, but he should do it on his own time. Me personally, I would never kneel [during the anthem].
Caleb Clay: It’s his own choice. Honestly he should stand for it. He wouldn’t have the same rights if he lived somewhere else.
Kayla Horne: I think it’s stupid.
Danielle Weaver: [He has] a good point, but I feel that most blacks do have good rights, and most are treated equally, so I don’t think that he should have taken it out that way. He could still protest, but I don’t think that not standing for the National Anthem was the right way to go about it. It’s disrespectful to the country.
Ellie Anderson: I feel like he should have stood up, because when you’re on national TV you should be standing for the national anthem.
How have the recent incidents changed your opinion on sportsmanship and uniting as a team?
Mason Downey: A couple of the teachers and I, and all of my teammates have had some conversations about it. Every time I stand up for the flag during the pledge it’s not just something where you’re just standing up to look at the flag and doing it like a robot, you actually think of those who fought. I gain more respect for those I know personally [who’ve fought].
Devan Berry: The Colin thing isn’t really about sportsmanship, it’s more him protesting black lives or something. It’s not really sportsmanship and it doesn’t have anything to do with the game, it’s just a distraction for his teammates and it’s just a distraction to the game, so a lot of people are upset with him. If you’re in a team, you shouldn’t do anything that distracts from the game or from the team, do it on your own time. I wouldn’t say it’s very much sportsmanship, as much as it is him protesting. He’s not doing anything wrong or against sportsmanship.
Caleb Clay: More people are not standing up for it. It’s not right for people to do that. It kind of changes how people view America.
Kayla Horne: They can just do whatever they want, and they don’t have to respect America in that way.
Ellie Anderson: It’s made it so people feel like they can just not stand, just because they don’t like something about America.
How do you show sportsmanship?
Devan Berry: At football games when someone tackles me, or when someone’s on the ground, people usually do a pretty good job of helping people up. When we go out to the coin toss, we shake hands and introduce ourselves. I’m pretty nice during games unless someone cheap shots me, then maybe I’ll yell at them.
Caleb Clay: You just be kind to other people. With the United States you just do what’s right and stand up for the pledge.
Kayla Horne: By supporting the other teams that are there and just respecting your teammates and coaches.
Danielle Weaver: I stand for the pledge when we have volleyball games, and just treat the other team with respect. Not being cocky is another way to show good sportsmanship.
Ellie Anderson: I cheer for other people. I say ‘good job’ to the people I’m passing.
How does your team show sportsmanship?
Mason Downey: First of all it’s having your team’s back, and also just how you act on the field. Just leading by example. If you were to lose, you have to act mature about it. The younger classmen might see that and it would start a chain.
Devan Berry: Our team does a really good job, we’re a really classy team. There’s a lot of teams that cheap shot and we don’t do that. Usually we’re pretty calm. A lot of our guys, our linemen will block someone and then go help them up. We try not to swear too much, or yell at kids. We’re probably one of the best teams with sportsmanship. We’re pretty chill.
Caleb Clay: We go out to the field and say the pledge of allegiance, and we stand and do what we need to.
Kayla Horne: By listening to our coaches, by supporting our community and doing stuff for them.
Danielle Weaver: If the ref makes a bad call, some teams have gotten yellow cards from yelling at the refs. Our program does really well with that, we never get mad at the refs, we just take it and keep moving. We’ve started doing service and kindness things for the other teams. Our coach had us start giving gifts to the other teams that we play, and that shows good sportsmanship.
Ellie Anderson: They’re good at encouraging others, from other teams and also just cheering for our own team.
What is sportsmanship?
Mason Downey: Your actions, or how you go about things in whatever you’re doing, in life and your activities in general.
Devan Berry: Upholding the game and doing everything you can to make the game great. Just being a good athlete and leader. Just playing clean, fair, and upholding the rules, and trying to make the game good.
Caleb Clay: Being kind to the other players. If someone gets hurt, you kneel down. You don’t laugh about it.
Kayla Horne: Being a good team member by being a leader.
Danielle Weaver: Sportsmanship is treating your team, as well as the other team with respect. Also being kind, and making sure you’re doing all you can to represent your community and where you’re from the best you can.
Ellie Anderson: It’s being happy even if you don’t win and somebody beats you, and being happy that they did as well as they did. It’s being happy for others and how they do.