San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been dominating the headlines for since July for his refusal to stand during the Pledge of Allegiance, with the justification that “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” Kaepernick has personally been so oppressed in America that he was adopted and raised by two white parents, and now earns nearly $20 million a year. Oppressed people don’t have the freedom of foregoing their nation’s pledge either.
The man has been attacked by just about everyone except a few idiot celebrity supporters. The majority of football viewers disapprove of his protests – as do his own mother.
And he’s just found himself another critic.
Former Navy admiral and University of Texas System Chancellor, Bill McRaven, wrote a pointed memo directing the coaches and players within the UT system on how to behave during the National Anthem, and shedding some light on all that the flag represents.
For those who don’t know, McRaven organized & planned the raid, Operation Neptune Spear, which saw Osama Bin Laden killed.
In his memo McRaven wrote,
“It is a flag for everyone, of every color, of every race, of every creed, and of every orientation, but the privilege of living under this flag does not come without cost. Nor should it come without respect.” said Bill McRaven
“Those that believe the flag represents oppression should remember all the Americans who fought to eliminate bigotry, racism, sexism, imperialism, communism, and terrorism,” he wrote.
A key quote stands out; “While no one should be compelled to stand, they should recognize that by sitting in protest to the flag they are disrespecting everyone who sacrificed to make this country what it is today — as imperfect as it might be.”
McRaven made a similar request in January but expressed a need to reiterate it after the Kaepernick controversy. Still, he acknowledged the right of Americans to protest and didn’t say anything about it being mandatory. Those who defend Kaepernick by pointing out that he’s simply exercising his First Amendment rights are missing the point. No one doesn’t think he should be able to protest, we just think his protest is stupid.
What do you think about the whole Kaepernick fiasco? I say, let the market decide.