Pierce Pioneer

Kicking it with Q – Episode 2 – 49ers vs the Chiefs: Who will win?

Quintin Mattson-Hayward discuss whether the 49ers or the Chiefs will win the Super Bowl with guest Jake Santiago.


Editor: Quintin Mattson-Hayward

Guest: Jake Santiago

Logo: Jesus Contreras

National Anthem Crisis

Should you kneel, stand, or sit?


Justin Ngo/Contributing Photos

Nathan DiCarlo (left) and Doug Carson (right) were interviewed about the NFL protests.

National Anthem Crisis

Updated October 16, 2017 at 5 p.m.

The protests began with the NFL player, Colin Kaepernick, nearly thirteen months ago and his motivations were clear. He was bringing awareness towards police brutality and the racial inequality present in the U.S. and his protest was widely discussed. The player engaged in a hiatus from football and now the protests gained traction through Donald’s Trump tweet.

On Sept. 25th, Donald Trump wrote a tweet calling out the players for their protest and how it disrespects veterans and the U.S. This tweet help acted like a catalyst and motivated some players to protest less, but others protested more than ever.  The motivations behind the current protests are either against Donald Trump, police brutality, or racial inequality.

The protests have been supported by some veterans, athletes, and even students here on campus. Basketball player Frank Banks, who is studying kinesiology have to said, “I understand the motivation behind their protests and how they don’t tolerate police brutality and the racial problems in America. I also understand how the song was made for veterans, but it doesn’t matter if people disrespect the flag because people of color are still getting disrespected.”

Another form of protesting observed is raising a fist in solidarity of racial inequality and police brutality. This form of protesting also refers towards the Black Panther movement and this form of protesting hasn’t been commented on. Some athletes like Frank Banks also claim how the national anthem have direct historical roots of slavery and racism.

The athletic director, Duncan Steven said, “I think it’s creating a conversation in the U.S. about injustice and inequality. We don’t have a policy on protesting, but we allow our players to express their freedom of speech and protest.”

Veteran student, Nathan DiCarlo, who is studying graphic design said, “They make a good point by bringing awareness to police brutality and racial equality. It’s a silent protest and their exercising their rights. The same constitutional rights that I fought for them. “

Operations manager, Doug Carson said, “I think Colin Kaepernick and the other players have a constitutional right to protest, but the owners can choose to fire the players as well. “

Part of the source for the protests can be found in a verse of the national anthem. It refers to “hirelings and slaves” and some have used it to highlight how the national anthem has direct racism and mention of slavery. It also could also be taken as a metaphorical sense, as hirelings refers to the poorer class.

As more people become engaged in the protest, it will continue to evolve. One thing is for certain, it is an issue that will not fade.

Commentary: Religion in the NFL

When it is ok for you to pray after a score for one religion but not another


Husain Abdullah praying after his touchdown against New England Patriots

Kansas City Chiefs’ defense was crushing the spirit of the New England Patriots, when cornerback Husain Abdullah intercepted a pass from Tom Brady for a pick six (interception and running it for a touchdown).

What came next surprised a lot of individuals, including the announcing staff, twitter followers, and millions across the world: a yellow flag. Abdullah got down on both knees and bowed his head to the ground in prayer. He was not celebrating, he was praying; yet the officials threw the flag for “going to ground” during what the officials called “excessive celebration.”

“If I get a pick, I’m going to prostrate before God in the end zone.” Abdullah said.

Many players in the NFL pray before, after, and during games. Most are of the Christian faith, while Abdullah is of the Muslim faith. Former Denver quarterback, Tim Tebow, was one of the most outspoken players when it came to religion, yet on several occasions when he scored he would drop to his knee in prayer (this is known as Tebowing to many) without a flag being thrown.

There appears to be a double standard and a disregard to equality to all religions across America. Michael Signora, NFL’s vice president of communications, tweeted out “Abdullah should not have been penalized. Officiating mechanic is not to flag a player who goes to the ground for religious reasons.”

This simple lack of judgement from another set of NFL officials could have cost the Kansas City Chiefs the game, but it didn’t.

The NFL has had its imaged tarnished as of late with the lack of punishment for domestic violence. If it wasn’t for being on national television, this situation could have been swept under the rug, just like the Ray Rice ordeal. The NFL needs to adjust its moral compass in order to stay in the good graces of its fans.


Michael Sam : Breaking the Barrier

Sam has recently became the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL

Sitting around, waiting patiently around for their name to be called could be frightening for anyone. Michael Sam, from Galveston, Texas, received his phone call from the St. Louis Rams in the 7th round. He was selected in the 249 spot in the draft. What followed next caught most of America by surprise. Celebrating the call and his new position on the Rams, he embraced his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano, in his arms and kissed him on national television.

Sam became one of the first college football players to come out as gay in an interview with Chris Connelly in February.

Many applauded the act that played out on television,while some players like Don Jones, Miami Dolphins, tweeted their disbelief. “OMG” Jones tweeted after the kiss, and when a follower asked about if it was about the kiss, he tweeted, “Horrible.” As in any public relations miscues like this, the tweets were consequently deleted.

“I was made aware of it and I was disappointed in those comments,” Dennis Hickey, Dolphins general manager said about the tweets by Jones.

The culture of the NFL has been changing recently to be more accepting towards lifestyles that have never been made public. They also have taken a stance against bullying and hazing in the locker room, like with the situation in Miami with Jonathan Martin.Micheal Sam - reuters photo

With Michael’s coming out it could give future players the courage they need to do the same. The NFL is being very supportive of equal rights for all of their players. “We’re in an age of diversity. Players understand that, they know that,” Jeff Fisher, the Rams’ coach said. People will try to make it [Sam’s sexual orientation] a distraction, but it’s not a distraction.”

“I’m sure it was a very, very difficult thing for him to do,” Fisher said. “I would also submit it was probably a tremendous load off his shoulders.”

Sam is aware that he will most likely be facing much more scrutiny on his coming out, but this isn’t a concern to him. “Hey, are there going to be idiots out there and say some stupid stuff? Yeah,” Sam said. “I’m not worried about that.”

Even the fans have been showing their support. Sam’s jersey outsold almost all of the first round draft picks’, only being outsold by Cleveland Browns Quarterback, Johnny Manziel.

Dom- you might want to explain that with a sentence or two. not everyone will get that.

NFL goes pink for crucial catch

Most view the game of football to be aggressive, macho and many times very brutal because of its habit of featuring bone-jarring hits. Impressively, the league breaks away from its norm for the entire month of October. The NFL goes pink to commemorate cancer survivors, raise money for research, raise awareness and honor those who have lost their lives to breast cancer. The players, coaches and referees take the football field in pink—that’s right, I said pink! Even the equipment is adorned. For the past 10 years, the NFL has supported the fight to stop breast cancer by doing its part. The theme of this year is called Crucial Catch, which promotes early detection so that the disease can be prevented and eventually cured.

Breast cancer affects all of us simply because we all have a lady in our life whether it is a wife, mother or sister. In fact, breast cancer is not a disease just for women. Men can even develop the disease too. One example is Richard Roundtree from the hit 70s television show “Shaft”. He was diagnosed with breast cancer in the early nineties and is a public spokesperson and advocate for the awareness of the disease. The disease has no preference to gender, race or age—we can all be affected and we can all show support.

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