Photo by Associated Press.
Originally Published: August 31, 2016 6 a.m.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit while the national anthem is being played has touched a nerve across the country and sports world.
He is doing this – until he sees change, he says – in protest of what he considers police brutality and disrespect to minorities in the United States.
As sometimes attributed to Voltaire, as well as others: “I do not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”
John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens head coach, said this week “I don’t think you can deny someone the right to speak out or mock or make fun or belittle anybody else’s opinion.”
Apparently he has not read the comments sections of dCourier.com; regardless, I agree that Kaepernick has an opinion. He has that right.
I do not, however, agree with his actions – the way he is getting his message out.
As evidenced by this week’s Primary Election, if you want to effect change … if you disagree with something … get involved, put some skin in the game. I respect all of the candidates – winners and losers – because they did just that: they got involved.
Kaepernick’s stage is a big one. Few people reach that level in sports. But don’t just sit there, disrespecting our flag – the symbol of the country that has allowed you, Mr. Kaepernick, the freedoms you enjoy.
As to the calls for the National Football League needing to discipline Kaepernick? No, that would be akin to the idea that you lose your freedom of speech because of who you work for. If the NFL takes a hardline approach, Kaepernick has serious choices to make.
Frankly, though, it’s become a sideshow, like celebrities weighing in on politics or humanitarian causes. Why do people think they’ve gained so much knowledge because of their fame? They have not. The media plays to their fame, no matter what they say.
Mr. Kaepernick, step up, don’t sit down.