“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick stated to the NFL Media in an exclusive interview after a game. “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.”
Colin Kaepernick. This name has caused more controversy and backlash in the last month than most people would expect… Half of America loves this man’s National Anthem protest, and the other half want him arrested, fired, and have publicly threatened him and burned articles of clothing with his name on it. Why?
Multiple individuals have decided that Colin is ungrateful to the troops that give their lives daily to make this country free, ungrateful to what America stands for, and ungrateful as a whole given his “privileged status”. He has also been receiving multiple, serious death threats since his controversial decision to not stand up for the National Anthem during a game. Violent speech and behavior such as this only proves his point, and only makes his protest more relevant.
Republicans believe that there are right ways and wrong ways to protest, and insist that Colin’s way of protest is disrespectful, rude, and just plain wrong…that it could have been done differently. “Why would a rich black man stand up for Black Lives Matter and draw attention to police brutality?” they ask. “I mean, he’s clearly privileged and playing in the NFL, right? How is he oppressed? How does Black Lives Matter include him? Why would he ever use his 1st Amendment rights to draw attention to what is happening in this country with the majority of colored people? It’s not happening to him, right? How disrespectful.” Moreover, most of the arguments against his protest sound a little bit like this: “Kaepernick is a privileged brat. He obviously hates the troops! Why would he ever disrespect this country by not standing up for the anthem when soldiers in wheelchairs try their best to stand up and show their love and respect? He’s using his first amendment right to protest peacefully, by not standing, yes, but it is wrong to use those rights in that way because it shows he hates America.”
Kaepernick has stated multiple times that his protest is, in fact, not about the troops, and that he respects the soldiers who give their all so that this country can be FREE (in every way) just like any normal human being would respect them. However, Republicans are not seeing the bigger picture here. Yes, Colin is a rich, black football player. Does that mean that he cannot draw attention to how the majority of colored people, who are not as lucky, fortunate, and privileged like him, are constantly being oppressed? He even stated, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “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.”
The argument that he cannot peacefully protest because he doesn’t fit the category of most colored people in America is absolutely illogical. That’s like saying individuals like Martin Luther King couldn’t stand up for people being oppressed in this country in the past because he wasn’t as poor as them, or that Angelina Jolie can’t help out with Humane Societies like she usually does around the world because she’s a white woman with social influence and a happy financial standing. It makes no sense.
Republicans constantly bring up everything in regards to the troops, instead of what Kaepernick is actually trying to protest against. The actual reason for his protest is constantly avoided and pushed in the dark. Yes, he makes millions in the NFL and he’s lucky to do that as I stated before, but he’s talking about the MAJORITY of colored people in America, which none of these people seem to understand… Has everyone forgotten about the constant police brutality in America due to racist, incompetent cops that should have never been hired? Has everyone forgotten about the senseless murders of colored people going on everyday in this country? His protest has NOTHING to do with the troops. He respects soldiers and he’s using this uncomfortable ( yet peaceful ) protest and his rights in order to draw attention to the issues regarding the majority of colored America. He wasn’t throwing bombs, he wasn’t using crazy language, and he wasn’t being violent in any way, shape, or form. He was quietly and peacefully using his platform, as a well-known NFL individual, to draw attention to things that matter. How is that wrong? It’s uncomfortable because it’s being done during the National Anthem, but it is not wrong.
As for people stating that him not standing is disrespectful and rude, and that the youth of America shouldn’t be influenced by his behavior…that can be debated. The thing is, everyone disrespects the country on a daily basis (sadly) as part of their first amendment rights to free speech, including the Republican nominee currently with his certain public comments (which also influence the youth of America). I would just like to remind everyone as well that there’s no such thing as a “right way and a bad way” to protest according to the 1st Amendment. I also want to mention that his protest was simply sitting down…peacefully. There’s nothing wrong or violent about that. It’s just something people aren’t used to.
There’s plenty of opinions on what is and is not considered disrespectful…and the National Anthem doesn’t represent the same thing to everyone that is a part of this country. All I’m trying to say is that this man chose to protest peacefully during something that would be sure to cause an uproar in the country, therefore making his protest perfect. It’s not about disrespecting anything really, but more about forcing everyone to address why he did it. Currently, only certain people actually get why this protest took place, and the others take it as a sign of him hating the troops or being a privileged black man acting bratty…which is absolutely not the point of his protest regarding the majority of colored America and what they’re going through.