By now I’m sure you’ve heard all about 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and how he refused to stand for the national anthem before his preseason game a week or so ago. And I’m sure if you watch the news, you’re probably all pissed off about it. I can’t logon to Facebook without seeing tons of irate people on my friends list, posting things about how he should love it or leave it, and how he’s a white guy and shouldn’t be oppressed by anything, and so on.
Here’s why he said he didn’t stand…
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
OUTRAGE! BOO! HISS! HE’S SO UNAMERICAN!
I was on the fence with this and couldn’t quite figure out how to put into words what I was thinking, until I read this piece by Jim Wright on Facebook. He sums up exactly how I’m feeling about this.
To add to that, here’s how I’m feeling about what Kaepernick said.
I think what he did was valiant. This country is far from perfect and those being oppressed shouldn’t have to fight alone. It’s going to take all of us to make a difference. This country is still full of racism, bigotry, and hate. If you can’t see it, you’re blind.
Now, I’m not sure why it took him until now to do such a thing, or what it was that finally set him off, and I’m not sure why he chose that platform to make a stand (pun alert). Maybe it was the wrong one. BUT, he stuck by his word. He didn’t fake a standing salute to the flag just to keep everyone happy.
I think I’ve said it here before, though I’m not sure where, but I think that someone who says this country needs help is MORE patriotic than those who tell that person to shove off, or “LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT! ‘MERICA!”
If someone cared enough about their country and how poorly it is behaving to make such a spectacle and say something about it like Kaepernick did, I’d say that’s one of the most patriotic things you could do. How many of you notice how terrible things have been in the good ol’ US of A, yet haven’t said anything about it, or better yet, DONE anything about it?
No, Kaepernick hasn’t actually done anything about it other than not stand for the National Anthem and then say why to a national audience, but that’s more than most do.
Colin Kaepernick cares enough about his country that he wants it to be better, and he said so. That doesn’t make him a bad guy.
As for Facebook, I now see how many people who I thought I knew were patriotic yet are not. How many of them are for ‘MERICA instead of for the USA. I want to see better. We’re supposed to be the best country on earth, yet we fail at so many things.
So I’m standing with Kaepernick and what he said and did. He is a real patriot in my book. I don’t care if this pisses anybody off or not, because frankly, if it pisses you off that he said what he said and that I approve of it, I don’t think much of that attitude anyway, and you are less patriotic than he is.
Pretending there’s nothing wrong when it’s so clear that a lot is wrong, is dangerous and ignorant. Don’t be an ostrich.
And all of you 49ers fans who have been burning his jersey in protest… how does flushing hundreds of dollars down the toilet feel? I mean, I guess you did that when you originally bought a 49ers jersey anyway.