The uproar continues over San Francisco 49ner quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit-down, rather than stand, during the playing of the National Anthem. Kaepernick said his decision was intended to protest the continued injustices being inflicted on Black people, including police brutality and killings. Though the negative tide has turned somewhat, his protest was initially met with a torrent of criticism from various quarters. He was called everything but a child of God for refusing to “honor America” and our men and women in the armed forces. The “love it or leave it” sentiment was very strong.
Frankly, I was infuriated by these reactions. It made my blood boil. I was already upset and had spoken about the fact that social media exploded with criticism of African American gymnast Gabby Douglas when she inadvertently forgot to put her hand over her heart when the National Anthem was played during the Medal Ceremony at the Olympic Games in Rio. So, when I took to the airwaves for my weekly radio show Vantage Point on WBAI, 99.5 FM on the Pacifica Network in New York. I unleashed a commentary which made the following points (listen to the commentary at http://www.ibw21.org):