When the “news” broke about San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick sitting out the National Anthem, I thought, “hmm, it’s definitely the preseason and we need a 24 hour story”. Nope, this sparked a national outrage among those who feel like he has disrespected the flag, the military, and those who were wounded in battle. I try my best not to live in an echo chamber and follow those on Facebook who will post more conservative leaning rants or articles. Naturally, all of them were white and were claiming, “he’s mixed and his adoptive parents are white”, and “he’s never felt oppression, he’s a millionaire”.
Shoot, I guess you have to be poor in order to feel oppressed or notice racism. It’s malarkey, and you know what else is malarkey? Tami Lahren’s rant on Colin Kaepernick that seemed to go viral among those who disagreed with Colin Kaepernick. While I support her right to rant, I also support and urge those to watch or read what Kaepernick had to say post-game the other week. Lahren could have probably saved herself the embarrassment by actually listening to what Kaepernick had to say.
“So many people see the flag as a symbol of the military. How do you view it and what do you say to those people?
Colin Kaepernick: I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country. I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone. That’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. That’s something that’s not happening. I’ve seen videos, I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they have fought for, and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right”.
I did a bit of surveying on social media and here’s what some people had to say:
— “I’ve been saying it all along – what he’s doing is as American as it gets. He’s silently protesting. He has that right, even if I don’t agree with his point of view”.
— “I’m a veteran and fully support what he’s doing. As US-ians, we have a first amendment right to free speech. That means ALL speech, whether or not we like it or even whether or not it’s offensive.
–“I also would support the NFL if they choose to sanction him, even though I disagree with that, because the right to free speech means freedom from government restriction. They can work out the dispute (should it be necessary) in civil court. Further, I feel that people have an obligation to speak out against government endorsed injustice, whether the injustice is the result of action or inaction by the government. Elections are not enough in some cases. In this case, he has a very real issue and a really big stage on which to “petition for a governmental redress of grievances. Rock on, man.”
— “This is exactly how you should protest. I support this 100%. It’s funny how everyone was all over Kaep’s nuts when he was playing well and he had a couple bad seasons so now they all want to dump on him. Football fans can be gigantic babies”.
— “I think it’s funny because this is literally the exact right that gets you killed for expressing in countries that aren’t free”.
— “These same “heroic patriots” (and I get the tounge-in-cheekiness) are most likely the same ones who also have a problem with the BLM protests. They don’t like the “aggressive” tactics of blocking a freeway, but then they don’t like the peaceful tactic of sitting during the national anthem. So really what it is, is that they don’t like non-white people expressing discontent. I’ll be shocked if we as a country make it to 2050″.
That last quote is why I surveyed my social media outlets. The people against protest generally complain about the inconvenience it causes them and the general public. A highway or a major road might get blocked during a protest, but Colin Kaepernick sitting out or kneeling for the anthem is causing a problem? This is exactly what the anti-protest crowd has wanted: a peaceful protest, and yet, the public is still going to complain? Then again, you have the right to complain or to be offended by Kaepernick’s actions, but he also has the right to keep doing what he does that makes you upset.
Imagine if Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, or Tom Brady took a knee or sat out the anthem? My hunch is that we’d be listening a bit harder to them versus an athlete who’s declining and is black. Take the race out of it, and imagine if Kaepernick was still on top of the world the way Cam Newton, LeBron James, Steph Curry, or any top African American athlete out there. I have my doubts that society would give LeBron James a hard time for this type of protest.
Also, that team in Washington D.C. hasn’t changed their nickname yet.