Colin Kaepernick’s Protest Of The National Anthem Is What The Military Fights For

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the national anthem last Friday.

“I am not going to stand up and 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.”

[Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images]
Needless to say, the public didn’t miss Kaepernick’s political protest, and an outcry and firestorm ricocheted soon after. Words like traitor, disrespectful, unamerican, to accusing Kaepernick of lacking respect for the military were charged against him.

Many users on NBC Sports weren’t pleased with Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem.

User chiefpontiac57 said:

“Our country has issues. Every country has issues. But please respect the country you live in or simply found another one. BTW: not every country will let you do that, so you might want to think about that Mr. Kapernick.”

And 6thsense10 said:

“The NFL has no such rule, and the Collective Bargaining Agreement is silent on the subject… Since when did the CBA being silent on an issue ever stopped Dictator Goodell from punishing a player?”

Another user, stairwayto7 said:

“I do hope Kaepernick realizes that those ‘bodies in the street’ are not only one skin color. I also hope he knows how many American bodies have lain in foreign streets for the country they loved, and the country that this twerp is apparently so ashamed of.”

CBS Sports reported that Justin Pugh of the New York Giants tweeted, “I will be STANDING during the National Anthem tonight. Thank you to ALL (Gender, Race, PublicReligion) that put your lives on the line for that flag.”

CBS Sports also stated, T.J. Yates of the Houston Texans, “wasn’t on board,” with Kaepernick protest either, “It blows my mind how many people hate the country they live in.”

The public outcry wasn’t exclusive to football fans and players. Some political figures weren’t pleased with Kaepernick’s actions either.

CNN reported Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump chided Kaepernick for his action.

“[Kapernick] should find a country that works better for him.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest didn’t agree with Kaepernick’s reason for protesting the national anthem but nonetheless, Earnest supported Kaepernick’s First Amendment right to protest the national anthem.

“I certainly don’t share the views that Mr. Kaepernick expressed after the game in explaining his reasoning for his actions. But we surely all acknowledge and even defend his right to express those views in the settings that he chooses. That’s what he has done. Even as objectionable as we find his perspective, he certainly is entitled to express them.”

Regardless how anyone feels about Kaepernick’s action and the reason for it, Kaepernick as an American is allowed to protest the national anthem — no matter what the NFL rule states on the issue. Kaepernick isn’t a slave to the NFL or the country; he’s an American, entitled to his opinion and freedom of expression.

“Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the National Anthem,” the NFL said in a statement issued Saturday, in response to the controversy that emerged when 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick opted not to stand during the playing of the national anthem on Friday night in Santa Clara, prior to a game against the Packers.

[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]
Kaepernick didn’t give up his Constitutional rights by becoming a professional football player and national figure. Besides, on the facts of violence against the black community, Kaepernick is correct: the dead bodies of unarmed black men and women and citizens in general have piled up in this country to a horrendous number at the hand’s of police officers who are sworn to protect and serve.

Violence from police officers on top of gun violence in this country has become no different than the genocide Africans, Iraqis, and Syrians face every day from the actions of terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Queda. It’s shameful and regretful, and to ignore this masquerade of violence is immoral.

Kaepernick is bi-racial (half black). Thus, in a country whose history is bloodied with racism and denying blacks their constitutional rights – a fragment of that mentality still exists today – it’s not surprising that people like Pugh, Yates, and Donald Trump (all white men) have no problem belittling Kaepernick into silence. White suppressors have long been compliant with commanding a racist version of what Americanism is and forcing minorities to oblige. White society has long held issue with successful people of color refusing to hide the scars of their community from public view

Pugh, Yates, Trump, and others are probably the same people who supported Cliven Bundy and his goons, who pointed weapons at law enforcement. Or they are individuals who are silent when white athletes don’t place their hands over their hearts when the national anthem plays — but vilify Gabby Douglas for the same.

No rhyme or reason will every persuade people like Trump to understand the pain and suffering of the black community. Thus Kaepernick should keep-on-keeping-on. His actions weren’t disrespectful to the military — who fight day and night for our freedoms — no more than it’s disrespectful to the national anthem — a song steeped in racism — but of course, racists and white privilege don’t take the time to learn history.

Thank God a rich black man like Kaepernick knows what’s up with the issues our country faces on race relations and that he’s more than willing to express his grievances and shame. To me, Kaepernick is an American hero.

[Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]

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