“Oh say can you see”………..my answer is yes. By now I am pretty sure that the world has seen what San Francisco 49er Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has done and said, in one of the most famous seats ever taken. Kaepernick has decided to not stand during the National Anthem because of in his view the unequal treatment of minorities in this country. He has caused a national debate that has people on both sides of the issue with strong opinions.
Kaepernick said this after the game about his refusal to stand at the playing of the National Anthem, "This country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all — and it's not happening for all right now," This is because I'm seeing things happen to people that don't have a voice, people that don't have a platform to talk and have their voices heard and effect change," the quarterback said. "So I'm in a position where I can do that, and I'm going to do that for people that can't."
What Colin Kaepernick has done is not illegal, in fact it has been done before. Given this political climate and controversy in race relations, it is surprising no professional athlete has done it sooner. Backlash is nothing new to how “the powers that be” perceive one’s conduct should be when the “nationalistic” part of an event is shown, just ask Gymnast Gabby Douglas in this past Olympics. In a country that stands on the platform of “freedom” it seems that it is only free when it is agreed upon.
What is the motivation behind Kaepernick’s stance……especially right now? Why not the day before or 6 months before? Some question the timing because of him wanting to allegedly be traded before training camp started and the real possibility of him not starting this season. Was this a way for him to manufacture and exit……conspiracy theorist is having fun with this.
Regardless of motive for the action, Colin Kaepernick realized what the possibilities of his actions may be. Right now he is being taken to task by the court of public opinion however the exists within this……why are people not embracing the freedom of Kaepernick instead of bashing him for the expression and a deeper question should be why does he feel the way he does? I wonder just how much longer people will bash the messenger and not address the message.
Jamie Walker can be reached on Twitter @coachjdub21