They call him a hero, a person of deep conviction--one who stands strong amidst seething hate, or adversity. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers is being hailed as a crusader for civil rights. The 28-year-old is being compared to the great Rosa Parks but he is no hero, or Rosa Parks, either.
Kaepernick decided to kneel during the National Anthem in preseason against Green Bay because he believed that the U.S. as a whole supports racism. He took umbrage that he was made to honor his nation by standing at attention. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," he said. Let's be very clear, there are people who discriminate against people of any color. This is a grotesque stance, and unacceptable.
Although it is Kaepernick's right to exercise his liberties, and right as a citizen--it was in poor taste. He should thank the Heavens that he lives in a country where we can have freedom of expression, many countries jail people for defaming a national flag or disrespecting an anthem. No matter where you stand on the issue of patriotism, Kaepernick has brought racism to the forefront. His resistance to stand during "The Star-Spangled Banner" is an insult to America, and those who do not support racism. Vikings lineman Alex Boone said it was hard for him to hear about Kaepernick's position since his brother was a Marine and he lost many friends in war. "That flag obviously gives (Kaepernick) the right to do whatever he wants. I understand it. At the same time, you should have some respect for people who served, especially people that lost their life to protect our freedom," Boone explained. Kaepernick said he is not anti-American--he just wants to shine a light on racial injustices.The NFL said that they encourage players to participate in the National Anthem, but they are not required, and would not challenge Kaepernick's decision.
He is getting mad love from people as other sports stars are following his lead. NBA players like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. Megan Rapinoe, of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team said she will also kneel. Sales for Kaepernick have skyrocketed, and he said he was going to donate money from the sales to communities that need it. "I wasn't expecting my jersey sales to jump to number one because of this, but it shows the people's belief that we can achieve justice and equality for ALL," he posted on Instagram.
It is a total hypocrisy. When quarterback Tim Tebow prayed before a game he was ostracized. Why are people and the media more upset about someone praying, then someone who trashes the "Star-Spangled Banner?" Tebow was the center of many jokes for his belief in God and honoring Him before and after games. God is fine to mock? Former Boston Red Sox pitcher and commentator Curt Schilling chimed in on the controversy regarding a biased media. He told Breitbart News Daily that Tebow was "vilified" for lowering his head in prayer. The same outlets that criticized Tebow are supporting a guy who sticking to his faith and beliefs. Where is the objectivity in the media? There is none, he shared with listeners, and it is pretty clear Schilling continued. "They [media], as a whole, are left-leaning, liberal, progressive, socialist, envying people who want Hillary Clinton to be the President. That's no longer a mystery. So who and how you turn to get information, I think, is something that needs to be adjusted now." A poll came out that showed that 75 percent of NFL fans disagree with Kaepernick's actions. Shaquille O'Neal was also perplexed about the action and shared with "Fox & Friends" that he would never do what Collin did." He said that his father was in the military, and his uncles are police officers, and offered "to each his own. I don't really have a say on it." There are veterans who are supporting his silent protest. Many veterans took to social media with #VeteransForKaepernick to offer their support.
Honoring the military before games is a tradition for most sports teams. Records revealed that that various sporting events played the National Anthem. Baseball used it dating from the 1800's during postseason. Yet, it was the 1918 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox that really helped the song spread across the nation. The song gained popularity in the 19th century, and marching bands started playing it for high school sports, college sports, and professional sports adopted the practice. In 1889 the Secretary of the Navy ordered that it should be the official song played during the raising of the flag. President Woodrow Wilson ordered that military functions should play "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the tradition stuck. We have today, where perhaps many teams will stop allowing the song to be played before games. The song does mention God and this seems to be a no-no as well.
Christians seem to be targeted regardless by the media, if they are in spotlight, or not. It is acceptable to bash those who share their faith. If they pray in public they are considered loony and extreme--we witnessed this with Tebow. Yet, when they exercise their Constitutional rights, they are silenced. Kaepernick has the right to protest. That is what a democracy is all about, exercising our freedom of expression and speech. But so do many others who want to live out their respective beliefs. Discrimination is deplorable under any circumstance, and Kaepernick is causing more racial divide with his protests in an already divided country. Many people want the country united no matter what the race or choice of religion may be. There are evil people in every walk of life, we cannot lump everyone into one category as being racist. Some desire to feed on that narrative, but as individuals it is our responsibility to stop it.