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Image result for colin kaepernick  imagesOver sixty percent of Americans want to give San Francisco QB, Colin Kaepernick, a piece of their minds, because, to them, he has disrespected America by refusing to stand for the national anthem.

Of those sixty percent, I m sure that more than half of them are supporting the republican nominee for president. He is a man who took multiple deferments instead of actually serving in the military like so many other young men did at the time. (He actually had FIVE draft deferments during the Vietnam war. FIVE!) But back to #7.

It would be so easy to rip him as just another pampered millionaire athlete who doesn’t realize how good he has it here in America. “The guy makes millions to play a game for crying loud! Why can’t he just cash his checks and shut his mouth? He should just take his black ass to Africa and see how good he will have it there”  But I say good for him for making a  stand (or in this case a seat) about something that he believes in. The fact that he happens to be a famous athlete makes his stance even more powerful, and it will no doubt shine a brighter light on what he thinks is the issue of inequality and institutionalized racism in this country.

Also, the fact that he was able to articulate his position in such a thoughtful manner was also refreshing. Obviously it is something that he has thought about, and he did not come to his decision overnight. Watching his impromptu press conference at his locker made that all too clear.

It’s also nice to see that he is getting support from some of his fellow NFL players, it can be awful lonely out there on principle island; especially when you are a professional athlete who is expected to be a role- model while toe the party line.

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This country has a lot of problems, but one of the beautiful things about this country is that we have a Constitution that allows us to speak up about those problems without having to worry about losing our freedom. And we are also free to  disagree with each other as many have chosen to do with #7.

I love all the people having jersey burning ceremonies because the guy just made them so mad. (“This is America, damn it!! If you don’t like it n****r you can leave.”) It’s sentiments like that one of course, which make Kaepernick’s act of defiance even more irradiating. I doubt seriously if the folks making those types of vitriolic attacks see the irony in all of it.

I have loved ones who fought and died defending the First Amendment right of people like Kaepernick to refuse to stand for the anthem, as well as the rights of those who choose to call  him out as a piece of shit or idiot for refusing to do so.

Personally, I stand for the national anthem, as, quite frankly, I would for the anthem of any country. That’s the Jamaican in me. But if someone chooses not to for whatever reason, I am honestly not bothered by it, and if that person happens to be a high profile athlete making a social or political statement; I say go for it.

“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”.

OK, so it isn’t Tommie Smith and John Carlos, but this isn’t 1968, either. Although we seem to be getting back there really fast.

*Pic from latimes.com.


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