Sunday, September 18, 2016

The only blog you need to read about Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick isn't standing for the national anthem before football games. You know the story, you have heard the arguments, you have watched the TV pundits faint at the "outrageous!!!!!" comments of whichever fellow time-filler happens to be babbling alongside them on the panel.

Some are upset that he is making a political statement by not standing for the anthem. Guess what: Standing for the anthem is also a political statement. The anthem represents a country, and by saluting it, you are embracing that country on some level. If the act of saluting has no connection to the country and therefore to politics, should American athletes also salute the anthems of other countries? If they did, I bet those hounding Kaepernick would be furious.

Some are upset that someone who is "just" an athlete is making such a statement. "No one looks to Colin Kaepernick for social commentary," that sort of thing. I too sometimes roll my eyes at "commentary" from celebrities. I love DiCaprio as an actor, but scamper for the remote when he is interviewed so I won't witness his puerility.

That said, those standing for the anthem are also *just* athletes making a political statement. If statements are wrong when the come from those who are "only" athletes, then athletes hailing the anthem - a political statement - is also problematic. One could credibly say, "Who are we to trivialize what the military does by incorporating it into a mere football game?"

When athletes raise money for military or police charities, no one says, "Shut up! You're just an athlete."

I have heard complaints that Kaepernick shouldn't talk as he does because he makes mega money. What does his salary have to do with it? If he was sitting to protest being underpaid, it'd be one thing. But he isn't - he is sitting because he feels elements of society are unjust. He didn't bring money into it, his critics did.

On a sidenote, I expect Blaine Gabbert to start sitting too. Not during the anthem, during the game, because he is, well, Blaine Gabbert.


On Twitter: @greatmikepayne

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