A 49ers football quarterback has made headlines over the last few days for refusing to stand at attention for the national anthem during a pre season football game. He is an African American man named Colin Kaepernick. People are justifiably outraged and upset over this.
The most upsetting part is the fact that Usain Bolt stood at attention for the national anthem during the Rio Olympics yet an actual American cannot be bothered to do so. Bolt is Jamaican. U.S. Pole vaulter Sam Kendricks stopped in mid stride in order to stand at attention too for the national anthem during the Olympics.
Kaepernick told Steve Wyche of NFL Media,
“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.”
Despite being African American he was raised and adopted by white parents. He is also a outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement. Due to his antics he has received both support and vociferous castigation.
New York Giants guard Justin Pugh tweeted,
“I will be STANDING during the National Anthem tonight. Thank you to ALL (Gender, Race, Religion) that put your lives on the line for that flag.”
Ex-Gianrs footballer Tiki Barber said,
“I rotely stood for the National Anthem all my life . . . post 9/11 and [email protected], I never took it for granted again! God bless America.”
Adrian Clayborn of the Atlanta Falcons said,
“The easy thing to do is to make fun of Kap and his play. How about trying to understand where he’s coming from … but that would be too hard.”
Arian Foster of the Dolphins stated,
“He has the right to choose not to stand. Just as you have the right to disagree with his stance.”
Kaepernick’s actions have stirred up conversation over free speech and expression and whether what he did was right or wrong. Regardless, it’s a sad day when a Jamaican athlete had more respect for our country than an actual American.
Does Kaepernick have the right to say what he wants? Of course. Does that mean what he did was right and that he should say whatever he wants? No. We all want to do things that aren’t good for us but we don’t do them because they aren’t good for us. It’s time he grew up.