Back in 2012 Colin Kapernick made news when he took the starting QB job in San Francisco from longtime starter Alex Smith. Kaepernick was big, fast, soft-spoken, and he lit up the NFL that season. This past weekend he made news again. During the National anthem he planted himself among the Gatorade buckets, while his teammates stood. Kaepernick didn't strike the kind of dramatic pose made by Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City, and that was OK. He made his statement loudly and clearly. When asked why he sat alone he commented "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color". What he did was not illegal. The first amendment basically allows us freedom of religion and freedom of expression. He certainly expressed himself.
The back lash was as expected. Twitter blew up and most of the the comments weren’t supportive. Fans burned his number 7 jersey and 49 fans are signing a petition for the football team to fire him. He will be a distraction for new coach Chip Kelly and the niners, even if everyone involved claims it won’t be.
Kaepernick has every right to feel like he does even if I don’t agree with the way he did it. Does our country oppress black people and people of color? We could certainly debate that. What he did was, in my opinion wrong. Perhaps he forgot, the same people who were upset by his actions are the same people who pay his almost 16 million dollar salary. They are the same people who in the past cheered him. They have a right to now be upset with him, just like he has a right to express his opinion. But the way he chose to express himself comes off as self absorbed. A different forum would have been better. He leads a life of privilege, use that advantage to do something. How about going into the inner cities and challenging men of color to grow up and become men. Hold them accountable to do better within their own families and communities. Now that would show real courage. If he wants to continue to sit on the bench, go right ahead. If last year is any indication, he'll be sitting during the games, too.
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