All across the country people have been talking about and joining the National Anthem protest led by 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick. One teenager was inspired by the football star’s protest, and defied all odds to do the unthinkable. While Kaepernick and many other football players made the decision to either sit or kneel while the anthem was playing, Buffalo Bills fan from New York Jacob Dyson accomplished the impossible.
Standing or sitting was never a choice for Jacob because he was born with cerebral palsy which makes it almost completely impossible for the teen to stand on his own. At Sunday’s game however, Jacob was overcome with inspiration to do the right thing and he stood on his own for the entire duration of the national anthem. “[Having cerebral palsy] has made it really hard for me to stand and walk like everyone else and I’ve had over 13 major surgeries in my lifetime and that just adds to the CP,” Jason said. He went on to say that although he understands Kaepernick’s stance of protesting racial injustice and police brutality, he says that when the anthem is playing, it is not a time to protest. “It’s because of the people who went to war for him, for us, for our freedoms,” he said.
Immediately after the game, the inspirational photo of the teen was spread all over social media, but there is one person who was inspired most of all, and that was Jacob’s mother. She was overcome with emotion as she had watched her son struggle all his life doing simple tasks, now standing on his own for something he believes in. “It’s amazing. It brought tears to my eyes and it’s not only because he stood, but the reason that he stood and that it was that important for him to stand for the national anthem, that’s what really got me,” Jan Dyson, his mother said.
Jacob says that he hopes his photo will inspire others to overcome their battles and hardships. “I want to show people that it’s not about how hard you get knocked down. It’s about how you get back up from all your struggles that define you as a person,” said Dyson. Lets share this young man’s amazing story and let his voice be heard!