Is this an act of disgrace or freedom of expression? The national anthem is a staple of sporting events, but one NFL quarterback decided to remain seated during the Star-Spangled Banner. Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers decided that the was going to sit because he was “not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color."
Fox News Insider added that Kaepernick, who is biracial, isn’t worried about backlash, given that he’s fighting Blaine Gabbert for the starting quarterback position:
This is not something that I am going to run by anybody," he said. "I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right."
Of course, this is hyperbole. We’re not apartheid South Africa. Yet, we’re a nation that encourages diverse opinions, even abysmal ones (unless you’re a pro-safe space progressive). The 49ers released a statement over the controversy:
“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose to participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
I tend to agree. Yes, Kaepernick has the right to remain seated (and be disrespectful), though he should prepare for a backlash. For starters, he’s earning millions of dollars a year. The social justice warrior character that wants portray fighting for the supposed oppressed people of America seems a tad disingenuous. It’s probably going to elicit more eye rolls than nods of approval. So, by all means Kaepernick, do what you think is right–just don’t whine when a deluge of angry Americans flood your social media accounts.
At the same time, it could be worse. In Greenville, South Carolina, a school district actually banned American flags at football games.
Debate amongst yourselves.