Cap Took a Seat and We All Noticed. Is that a good thing?

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August 30, 2016 by gregrabidoux2013

cap sitting

The SF QB taking a seat before the game even starts.

 

Recently, at a pre-season NFL game, and we all know how much those games usually matter, the quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers wanted to make sure this one meaningless game did matter.

So, he sat down on his team’s bench and rested a bit.

So what, you say?

Yep, normally I’d agree. But Colin Kaepernick, the QB in discussion, chose to park his rear-end on the bench while everyone else, and I mean everyone else (his team, the other team, the referees, the fans, the police security, the color guards, the flag-bearers, the singers) stood.

cap teammates

They’re offensive linemen they should stand up anyways

 

And mostly bowed their heads while our national anthem (The Star Spangled Banner) was played just before the game was to start.

And we noticed. And we talked about it. And we still are.

Which is apparently just what Mr. Kaepernick (nicknamed the CAP) wanted to happen.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean what he did is a good thing. Or was it?

First, why did he sit while everyone else stood?

Well, he says it certainly wasn’t because he was tired. The game hadn’t yet started, remember?

Nope. He claims that this was his way of protesting about what he thought of when the national anthem was played and the USA flag was unfurled. Specifically, he says that he thought of the recent police brutality against African-Americans and that this was such an injustice that to stand and symbolically “salute” the flag in light of this injustice was in his view, unconscionable.

cap power salute

Echoes of the Olympics in Mexico and the Black power salute?

 

In other words, you all stand. I will sit because this is what I think of the flag and at least a portion of what it represents to me.

The response has been swift and while mixed it has contained a clear and forceful backlash against the CAP and his decision, which by the way, he says will continue indefinitely, to sit whenever the national anthem is played and the flag unfurled.

His former coach at SF and current university of Michigan head football coach Jim Harbaugh tweeted that he “didn’t respect his motivation or his action.” He later tweeted that he meant only to say he didn’t respect his action (to sit). A rookie football player with the Philadelphia Eagles tweeted that he was with Kaepernick and was gonna sit too. But then apparently, after his Agent spoke to him and gave him an insider’s view of 1) The money and endorsements he and consequently, the Agent would lose and 2) The city of Brotherly Love could and would turn to something other than “love” if the rookie sat, he decided that he’d stand after all.

cap cap and coach

Before, when all they had to talk about was the actual game

 

Commentator and ESPN blow-hard/soothsayer (your choice) Stephen A. Smith called for “everyone to just shut the hell up” in the name of freedom of speech in response to Kaepernick’s stance. Puzzling but then Stephen A. seems a bit lost recently without his running buddy, Skip Bayless.

Suffice to say lots of folks in and outside of sports have weighed in on CAP’s decision to park it on the bench including of course, the GOP presidential nominee, Mr. Donald Trump. “The Donald” tweeted that if Kaepernick really felt that way then maybe could move to some other country that worked better for him.

isis trump

Donald Trump inviting Mr. Kaepernick to head north?

 

Well, seeing as how the CAP signed a $114 million contract to, when not sitting on the bench, toss a football for a living, it seems it is working out for him quite nicely right here in the good old US of A.

Of course, when a famous athlete or celebrity chooses to willingly use the spotlight and incredible forum they have due to their fame to make a statement that isn’t just about promoting their recent Nike shoes on the paying public lots of things about him or her get noticed. And scrutinized. And criticized.

Sort of like choosing to play football for a living sometimes getting crushed by a 350 pound lineman or blindsided just comes with the territory.

So, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that since the CAP chose to sit, his money, ability, talent, motivation, leadership, locker room presence, citizenship, loyalty to this country, his sexuality and even his race have all been questioned and put on the table.

For the record, a former NE Patriot and now NBC analyst, Rodney Harrison, says that Kaepernick is “not black” and so doesn’t speak for all blacks. Which I’m guessing impliedly means that Rodney is black and speaks for all blacks.

cap rodney harrison

Thanks Rodney cuz it’s always helpful to start talking about race purity and whatnot

 

Ok, so what if the CAP is just speaking for himself as whatever race he happens to be, then what?

Our flag does represent freedom of speech, even burning the flag in protest, as abhorrent as it is to a vast majority of us is deemed to be a form of “protected free speech” under the First Amendment by our US Supreme Court.

And all Mr. K did was sit down.

Yet, many have also raised the point that while The Star Spangled Banner has been adopted as our national anthem, embodying what historically many thought to be in large part what makes America, well, America (Freedom, Bravery, Courage) it is also inherently, a song about war. And military might. And valor during and in the face of overwhelming military odds.

“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

As you can see, the original words that were penned by Francis Scott Key of American heroism has been changed though retaining key passages like what we all are accustomed to hearing sung now before games like;

O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

cap star spangled banner

The words have been changed over the years, still not an easy tune to sing

 

The point here?

Just that it is an anthem that is ripe with images and sounds of war and so our military men and women have always embraced this anthem to be “their” song as much, maybe even more than it is anyone else’s.

And so not surprisingly, many in the military who have made public comments at least, have angrily denounced Kaepernick’s sitting as an insult to anyone who ever wore or today wears the uniform.

This includes law enforcement officials as well. As the SF police union, which includes the police who help secure the football stadium where the CAP tosses those footballs for glorious money, has demanded an apology from the QB.

cap sfpd

The SFPD boys in blue want an apology and a playoff team this year

 

Which he says won’t be coming anytime soon.

Should it?

Does the QB owe more respect to the many for their sacrifice than he has shown? He says that he means no disrespect to our military or our veterans.

But when you choose to willingly disrespect a flag for all that it stands for, can you select only certain portions you don’t like and leave the rest alone?

Or when you toss out the dirty bathwater must the baby go out with it?

Maybe more to the point-Will Kaepernick’s conscious decision to make this sit-down-protest help bring about the change he says he wants to see or will his message be lost as many now debate his race, his sexuality, his QB rating and the color of his skin?

Either way the NFL has yet another public relations fiasco on its hands that right now is trying to figure out a way to resolve it before the glorious Carrie Underwood belts out her own anthem and helps kick-off the real NFL season.

cap carrie underwood

You’d better not be sitting when Carrie sings her anthem, she’ll whup yer butt.

 

At least no one is talking about this clown directly below.

Johnny football

bengal-tiger-why-matter_7341043

 

 

 

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51 thoughts on “Cap Took a Seat and We All Noticed. Is that a good thing?

  1. Bobby S J says:

    Kapernick is a spoiled bum. We should all sit down and boo when he plays. better yet they should trade him to Cleveland where no one will even notice.

    • Jud W says:

      Just when you thought it would fade away into the abyss, the controversy of NFL Players kneeling for the National Anthem has raised its ugly head again. President Trump’s comments on Friday and over the weekend has stirred up a hornet’s nest of outrage and support, depending on the side you sit.

      Let’s be clear up front, I think Trump should have kept his mouth shut. With the many issues going on in the World (North Korea, Hurricane Recovery, Health Care, Terrorism), the President of the United States has much more to spend his time on than who is standing (or not standing) at a Football Game.

      With that said, this is a very passionate subject for a lot of people. As a huge NFL fan who pays over a $100.00 for my seat in order to attend the game, part of what I am doing is trying to get away from all the arguing and political B/S we see and hear everywhere we go. I want to enjoy my Sunday afternoon and relax for a few hours. For an Athlete to bring his or her political cause into that stadium is uncalled for. I don’t ask whoever is sitting next to me whether he is a Democrat or Republican. I don’t care!!! I came to watch the game, not to have a political debate.

      As for the Players, I paid (a lot) for my ticket, parking, food etc. During that 3 hour period (game time), you are on my time. As a ticket holder, I am there to cheer on my Team and have a good time with 60,000 friends (fellow fans). I am all for free speech. Everyone has that right but, not on my dime. What you do the day before the Game or two hours after the Game is your business. Protest all you like. If it is important to you, make your voice be heard. I may or may not agree with your position. It is definitely your right to have it, just not when you are on the clock (my clock).

      I see one of the biggest problems with so much of this controversy is that for us “Everyday Joes” this whole thing seems so disingenuous. When you have an NFL Quarterback making $14 million a year sitting around and complaining about how oppressed he feels and how he is kneeling for the common man, it just comes off as hypocritical. The NFL and many other professional Sports Leagues, Players and Teams alike are deeply entrenched in their neighborhoods and do many great things to help their communities. If you want to change the way things are, by all means please feel free to do so. Use your position as a Player to push your message forward and find a way to actively make a difference. You have the means to accomplish much change if you truly desire.

      When all is said and done, it boils down to the old realtor saying, “Location, Location, Location.” Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don’t have to agree with it or support it. It is your right to an opinion, but not to take action during game-time, my time. Whether it is a Football Game, a Concert or a Movie, I have purchased a ticket to be entertained. You are on the job and on my dime as your employer. Save it for the Post-Game interview or ESPN appearance to take a stand for social change. Then I always have the option to watch it or change the channel. It’s my right!

      Jud W.

  2. junior jackson says:

    There is nothing wrong with protesting injustice. People will make a whole lot of noise when a man decides to take a seat but they ignore when senseless murders take place and young peoples lives become vulnerable. I don’t believe his sitting down is about the Star Spangled Banner, I believe its about people wanting to find fault in a man who has otherwise been faultless. Its his right to not stand and he has made it clear its not about the flag or the soldiers who have fought in our country’s wars. Its about showing solidarity and demonstrating that there is a problem in our country and although he goes to work and earns millions, he still want to see change and improvement for his people -and all people.

    • Harry Nelson says:

      Yes, but he doesn’t have the right to play on a professional team. Nor does he have the right to be loved by all. (We can hate him if we want to – or better yet, not care about him.) But if I buy a ticket to a game or if I invest in the team it’s only reasonable to expect that I shouldn’t be offended by the players on the team. We’re forgetting a stakeholder here – those who are offended by his disrespect. I reject your reality and substitute my own.

  3. valdostaphil says:

    Phil-Edwards-7050-Fall-2016-Blog-Post

    The outcry on this is a lot of protest-eth-ing too loudy. This is basically the same thing as burning an American flag, which the Supreme Court has upheld as constitutionally protected free speech. He has the right to express himself however he chooses assuming it doesn’t violate anyone else’s rights. Others are also free to ostracize him I suppose. But the fact that he’s allowed to do it at all and still walk around free is one of the things that makes this country great. Blind support for country with no self-criticism or conscience isn’t patriotism. It’s demagoguery. If it takes actions like Caps to remind us that we need to constantly remind ourselves that while this country is great, it isn’t perfect and should constantly strive to improve through measures like ending torture, getting rid of the death penalty, wiping out systemic discrimination of marginalized populations, etc., then so be it.

    The day we all quit talking about the things we’re doing wrong and blindly fool ourselves into thinking we’re doing everything right is the day we cease to be the greatest country on Earth. God forbid.

  4. Alisha Fox says:

    As others have mentioned, I might not agree with his decision but at the end of the day it is his right. We all have the right to our own thoughts and opinions….He can sit as long as he wants, let’s move on.

  5. A brown man exercises his rights because he believes America is not great and the masses scream “boo!” while a white (orange) man exercises his rights because he believes America is not great and the masses scream “yay!”. Seems to me that there is a double-standard here.

    Why is it okay for Donald Trump to proclaim he will make America great again, which implies that it is not great now, but it is not ok for Kaepernick to peacefully protest what he views as injustice? Could it be because the color of his skin? Would the outrage be as large if it were Eli Manning who decided to keep his seat? My guess is, probably not!

    Although Kaepernick might have been able to choose a better method by which to stage his protest, this is the course that chose and he is well within his rights to do so. Just because many seem to be offended by him choosing to sit, that doesn’t mean that what he did was wrong. Sure, the military has fought long and hard for this country and our freedoms — but those freedoms include our right to protest regardless of the color of our skin, our sex, or our sexual preferences. It is far past time for those who scream about their rights to realize that these rights are extended to EVERYONE, not just those who think like them.

  6. Ashley Crews says:

    I personally believe that a large portion of this issue has more to do with the people in our society and what is and is not entertaining.
    A paid athlete sits down during the national anthem and I can barely get on the internet to do school work because everyone else and their mother is online talking, sharing, tweeting, and facebook-ing about this man. Can anyone tell me what the ballet said in my country last week? Who’s running for Sherriff? How about county commissioner? People are in an up-roar, making social media videos about how disgraceful and ignorant this man is, but those very people are not out exercising their own rights to make changes in our society. Many people who agree with CAPs reasoning are not out exercising their right. They’re all too busy arguing with people who disagree.
    If we want to see change we have to be the change, it’s that simple. CAP may have drawn more attention to the cause, but what now? Unless people get out there and do something, it’s all old news and there is nothing else to discuss.

    • India Wilcox says:

      Great post. I totally agree with you on this one Ashley

    • Lexis Lloyd says:

      I can definitely relate with your perspective on this issue at hand. It seems that people are always looking for new things to blow out of proportion or consume all their attention too. It is sad that it has come to this and it is unfortunate that some of the issues in the media are not as important as others that should be getting the attention. He has the right to do what he believes in. Just because someone may not agree with him does not make him wrong. We need to turn our focus onto more timely issues concerning our government. I can understand that some people were greatly offended by his actions, but there are so many other things going on in the world. I think the media tends to fuel the fire when it comes to situations like this.

  7. Kyle S. Poe says:

    It seems as though when somebody speaks their mind or acts against something that is a “way of life,” the masses are highly critical, respectfully, as not many enjoy change. However, change to formulate a movement amongst a country that promotes freedom of speech should not be scrutinized. This is somewhat of a taboo don’t you think? This honestly does not even have to be approached by race. Just look at the rights

  8. India Wilcox says:

    I think this gentleman already knew his consequences of this action. Maybe he had already contemplated sitting before the game, maybe he was just fed up at that particular time and decided in that moment to sit. Who knows his thoughts behind this cause. Was this the best platform? Was this the best decision? When “any” man/woman decides to stand for a cause even though they know the consequences will not be favorable is admiring. I feel we do have the right to freedom of speech, but we can not abuse this freedom to say and do whatever we want. But also when something is really heart felt, the time, the place, or the consequences does not provoke to just settling!

  9. Raphael Walters says:

    You’re hilarious! We all know he was not tired just before the game. I personally stand by his gesture. Everyone has the right to use the First Amendment freely as they please. Kaepernick feels he was “taking a stand” by “sitting”. SO BE IT. Sometimes watching individuals in the media standing for a cause can leave both positive and negative connotation. Commonly speaking, society will either love your logic or hate it. Do what you feel is right Kaep!

  10. Kyle Rudrow says:

    I’m reminded of various flag protests where protestor’s burn or otherwise “desecrate” the US flag. Even though this is legal and an expression of one’s freedom of speech, certain people are prone to intervene in the protest. They might grab the flag from the protester and argue that the US military or law enforcement have fought for the right to protest the flag. Ironically, these same groups of people are preventing protesters from carrying out that very “right.” Do you really have freedom of speech or expression if actually doing so makes you a social outcast or prone to public scrutiny or backlash? Does this country really have freedom of speech when Kaepernick is called unpatriotic or un-American for calling attention to legitimate social issues, or simply having a different opinion? These are the things we should be have a public debate about as a country. I usually do not like giving my unsubstantiated opinion on a topic, but I think the answer to this question is a clear no. Instead, we have abandoned what made the creation of the US so powerful, the diversity and freedom of its people, in favor of the Japanese credo of “the nail that sticks out gets hammered.” Social pressures prevent people from actually speaking out or expressing their own opinions, as we saw with the Philadelphia Eagles rookie.

  11. Ashley K. says:

    I’ve been torn about this one. On one hand, being a military wife for nearly 10 years makes me shocked at the disrespect of taking a knee during the national anthem. However, what would freedom be without having the freedom to peacefully protest something you feel is unjust? I don’t know if sitting down during the national anthem is the best way to bring attention to his cause but hey, it got everyone talking about it, right? I can’t say I support his actions but I support his right to peacefully protest and really, I think that’s all that matters.

  12. Clint Backstrom says:

    While I do not agree with Kaepernick’s actions I do maintain he has the right to do so. Part of being the “land of the free and the home of the brave” is having the ability to speak out against something you feel is wrong. Some, ok more like a lot of people, will debate how right or wrong he may be, but his opinion is his own and I support him exercising his rights. What I personally don’t support is the correlation he draws his reasoning from. The flag is a symbol that represents a lot of hope and valor for many individuals. It also represents a mix of pain and pride for loved ones lost family in friends in the process of becoming and continuing as a free sovereign nation. If CAP can handle the backlash of using such polarizing items as the Anthem and The Flag then he is free to do so, but be ready for your character, perception, and very livelihood to be questioned. While he can do whatever he pleases legally, personally I don’t support him or his platform.

  13. Nathan D. says:

    I don’t know where to begin with this, America the land of the great but home of the hypocrites. I find it very disturbing how people and the media get hysterical over things that compared to real issues, are petty. In this country we have freedom of speech and freedom to protest, but as soon as someone begins to exercise those freedoms it becomes a problem. Not only did Colin decide to exercise his rights, he did it quietly. He opted to sit down because he did not agree with the contents that make up the National Anthem.

    I remember when I first came to this country, there were a few non American students in my class. Every morning before school started, we would stand up and sing the pledge. It was not something that the foreign students were forced to do. There were kids that sat down while the other students stood up and recited the pledge.

    We have gotten so politically correct in this country that the schools don’t even feel comfortable saying the pledge anymore. This country no longer maintains some of its most practiced traditions.

    Overall, people are blowing this entire situation out of proportion. The National Anthem is a song about US history. There were a lot of things that this country did in the past that were wrong, there’s nothing we can do about the past. The moral of the story is if the schools properly educated everyone about the truth behind events like slavery, this wouldn’t be an issue today.

  14. Chardonnay Watson says:

    Colin’s gesture of sitting during the national anthem, honestly did not upset me or bother me. I have a father served 35 years in the military and despite the backlash from many people, both of our opinions (father and i) are the same, Colin is more than welcome to do whatever he pleases. If he wants to silently protest by not standing during the national anthem then let him do that. IT is HIS CHOICE.

  15. will1621 says:

    Third-string QB. Irrelevant player. Kneels during National Anthem. Press explodes, jersey sales shoot to the top, and third-stringer is relevant. Gets a nice kick-back on jersey sales and jumps into the spotlight.

    Hmm, sounds like a marketing ploy to me…and it worked!

    Will Johnson

  16. Dustin H. says:

    I feel it is Colin (and anyone’s) personal choice to do what he pleases during the national anthem, and certainly within his rights. I am sure he contemplated the positives and negatives before he did it, and hopefully he can accept and deal with any of the consequences. The media is always looking for a story and to make a mountain out of a mole hill, and there are certainly more important stories I’d like to hear about than this.

  17. MMiller says:

    Regardless of how anyone feels, Collin protest got the attention of several people. I agree with a comment I read earlier, let’s move on.

  18. Kaitlynn F. says:

    I have went back and forth regarding this matter. I do believe his intentions were in the best interest for the betterment of society. Doing something to get everyone’s attention is going to be bold; it’s going to offend people. What else could he have done on the platform that he is on to get the attention, of not only the people who agree with Colin, but those who cannot see what is going on around them (or do not care to know). For Colin, it was not a matter of disrespecting those who have fought for our freedom, etc. He was trying to make a bold point that there are real, ongoing problems that have made no indication of making progress. However, I would not protest in this manner. I believe in the flag and what it stands for more than I believe in making a bold protest. There are multiple ways to make differences, and ultimately, how many minds changed because of this. If anything, there seems to be more of a divide with every instance similar to these instances. I give him credit for getting the conversation going. But it means nothing if he does not follow through and continue to make action about these problems; not just awareness.

  19. Aaron Whitehead says:

    I can understand both sides to the protest. I understand why Mr. Kaepernick did not stand for the national anthem. He felt that he was making a stand for injustice for African-Americans. He also felt like he was doing his part to support African Americans.

    I also understand why people would be upset about the protest. People felt like it was disrespectful to not stand because of all people that have died protecting this country. The national anthem stands for more than just provide for the country.

  20. Brett Stanelle says:

    I don’t care for Kapernick and his actions disgust my soul. However, unlike CAP, I don’t expect that my opinion matters much. With that said, there are two issues that I take with his actions beyond the whole sitting down part.

    1.) What so many athletes seem to forget is that they are role models to our younger generations. CAP is a great athlete and as such, a ton of kids look up to him and even want to be him some day. He has the right to express his thoughts and his message. What concerns me is how this message will be received by some audiences. Do we really feel that some of these kids understand the point he is trying to make or does it fuel false interpretations of the message that can contribute to other social problems instead of mirroring what CAP says is his intent.

    2.) I also take issue with the discretionary application of who, when and for what the NFL will allow their players to express opinions. CAP can do what he does and everybody is cool with it. How about when several players were threatened with fines if they wore cleats and apparel as a 9/11 tribute? Or what about when the Dallas Cowboys weren’t allowed to wear their unity helmet decals to remember those officers who lost their lives in the July attack? If CAP can express his malcontent on police brutality, shouldn’t the NFL level the playing field? Given, there was a call to fine CAP if he removed the American flag from his helmet. I think that there is an easy fix for the NFL, either fine CAP for sitting down for what he believes in or allow others to stand up for what they believe in.

  21. Tayo S says:

    While I understand where Mr. Kaepernick is coming from on perceived injustices against minorities, I am not too sure sitting during the national anthem is the best way to convey his displeasure, I will argue, such protest may drive away people who might otherwise be sympathetic to his cause, because they will now view such action as outright disrespect for the country, and at the end of the day, two wrongs don’t make a right.

  22. Antonio A. says:

    I completely get where Colin Kaepernick is coming from. Even in that second verse of the stanza, it mentions slaves not being rescued from freedom, etc. I also understand taking a stance in regards to discrimination, because it’s real. Folks from the majority are always angry about stuff like this, however, they are silent in regards to racial discrimination and the mistreatment of others who are not of their status. Now, we have the freedom to sit, that is what individuals fought for! You can not agree with it, that’s your choice. I respect that, but doesn’t mean that I have to agree. I do appreciate the fact that he did start taking a knee rather than sitting, showing more respect that just sitting. Though I have supported this point, he really invalidated himself when he proudly proclaimed that he did not vote. I was with him until he said that.

  23. Kendria S says:

    Athletes are praised in America. Sports provide a realm of camaraderie that can rarely be found outside of group activities. Because athletes carry such influence, the actions that they take can have a great impact on public perspective. I definitely commend Kaepernick for taking a stand for what he believes in. I don’t think that it has anything to do with him being entitled or spoiled. He is simply using his position for good. Injustice is alive and well in America. We need more people like him to stand up and use their influence for positive change.

  24. gljackson33 says:

    I also think that there is nothing wrong with standing up for what a person believes in, especially injustices in America. I admire those who have a platform to use it for good. We should all want to be apart on doing something positive that will bring about change in our community as well as our nation.

  25. Taylor A says:

    Just like every American, Kaepernick has every right to sit down during the anthem for whatever reasoning he deems is appropriate. The overwhelming amount of “injustice” that this country has seen recently obviously struck something inside of Kaepernick and this is how he responded. Some people respond violently, some respond by using their fingers and a computer screen to disrespect law enforcement or other groups that may be linked to the problem in our country. I feel like Kaepernick used his platform to simply bring awareness to what is going on throughout the country. Do I agree that disrespecting the country and the flag is appropriate? Not necessarily. But I have no right to judge how he handled the situation because I have never been in his shoes and I have never had that type of platform.

  26. kade b says:

    Its hard to say if what he did was wrong or right. Its not me to judge and this is america and he show how he feels about the situation. I think alot of people got offended by it because of how people feel about disrespecting the flag. I think some people sees him sitting down as the same thing has some steppin on the flag or burning it. But he has his own right to express how he feels.

  27. Taylor A says:

    Just like every American, Kaepernick has every right to sit down during the anthem as a way to show his view towards whatever he deemed an appropriate reason. There has been an overwhelming amount of “injustice” situations throughout our country as of late and if this is Kaepernick’s way of responding to what’s going on in our country then he has the right to do so. Some people respond violently and other respond with their fingers and a computer screen to disrespect the law enforcement or any other groups linked to “injustice”. Kaepernick has the platform to reach a great amount of people and by sitting down during the anthem he probably brought awareness to what has happened in our country. Do I agree with disrespecting the anthem and our country by sitting down? Not necessarily. But I have no right to judge Kaepernick or say his actions were wrong because i have never been in his shoes and I have never had that platform.

  28. Gabe F says:

    This has been a sensitive issue. I agree with your point that he does have the right to do what he chooses during the national anthem. Trumps response to him kneeling is troubling now that he is President. I believe he got what he wanted in bringing more conversation to the current problems with race in the country. I am not sure if he brought about more action, although the breakthroughs made with athletes and police departments around the country could be considered a win.

  29. Briana H says:

    At the end of the day, whether we disagree with what he did or not. The one thing that we can not do is take away that it is his right to what ever he chooses do. In my opinion the only reason he received so much attention from it because he is the public eye because had been one of us no one would have thought twice about it.

  30. scwoods23 says:

    Bottom line is he had every right under the 1st amendment to do what he did. People may not have agreed with him, but he was still well within his right.

  31. Susan H says:

    I think this whole issue comes down to the fact that, in America, we support free speech. We are not Russia or North Korea. If someone wants to make a statement, each of us has the choice to agree with it, refute it, or ignore it altogether. Unless we are an NFL executive, we should not be weighing in on the debate as to whether Cap should have used his position as an athlete to make a personal statement. It is entirely within the NFL’s prevue to establish rules for athletes regarding how to act while representing the NFL.

    I do not know NFL’s policies, but I would assume they have some kind of written guideline as to how and when athletes can voice their opinions. What I do know is that many organizations have these kinds of rules, and these rules are defensible because it is too easy to hear someone’s statement and assume that they are speaking on behalf of their employer. Typically, these rules allow employees to make statements as long as they make it ultra clear that they are speaking as private citizens and not on behalf of their employer. I assume one of the reasons that Cap chose to make a silent protest was to stay within these guidelines, which tend to focus on verbal and written statements.

    Personally, I am pleased to see celebrities take a stand for what they believe. Being in the public spotlight gives celebrities virtually unbounded opportunities to make a difference in society. Whether they choose this spotlight to support charities or weigh in on sensitive issues is entirely up to them. I am just glad that Cap, for one, is not wasting his opportunity.

  32. I believe and agree along with most of everyone in that I believe that it’s his right within our country to sit, as a sign of protest. I do not believe that he or any others who have come after him in protest are attempting to disrespect what the flag may stand for military personnel and/or public servants. However I believe he is sitting in protest for what they flag does not stand for and has not stood for; to many African American people in America and the African American experience. Regardless if your identified as mixed with black or identified as Black from the public or census data. I believe many figures like Kap have a right and duty to utilize the platforms that they are given to stand with many of those they share the same experience or understand that experience to give those a voice. I believe that as Americans when someone are “professional” athletes, entertainers, figures outside of politics they are not still human and obligated to the checks they are paid and Americans own them. But we fail to remember that they are humans and have past experiences before the money and with the money.

    Hell professional or retired athletes if black are not given any special treatment as it relates to race and violence, and its injustice put onto them from a white counterpart. For example look to the most recent case of the fatal shooting of the former N.F.L. player Joe McKnight in Louisiana. Where he was shot and killed by Ronald Gasser a white man over all things being cutoff on the road where he got out his car and killed McKnight. He was arrested and admitted to the murder over his road rage and sent home following his arrest with no charges! While witnesses corroborated his story, this wasn’t self-defense as McKnight did not threaten him or put and physical harm to the man as witness statements and video exposed.

    So you still think Kap is whining for nothing?! He is overacting?! You think this would be done if this was Joe Montana who was Gasser victim?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/02/sports/football/suspect-in-killing-of-joe-mcknight-former-jets-player-is-freed-without-charge.html?_r=0

  33. Erica K says:

    I have been on the fence about this subject for quite some time now. At first, I agreed with him not standing. He felt as if he was showing his opinion in something he did not support; which he is able to do. As the time progressed and I really began to think about the decision he made, I became more determined to figure out if I had felt the same way, would I have done the same thing? I ultimately thought about the military and those who fought for our rights to be able to stand when the pledge of allegiance is announced anytime, anywhere. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is not solely about me individually, but those who’ve fought and those who died fighting for something I’m now able to do freely.

  34. Dekari G says:

    Why do we have rights if when exercised you are seen to have made a mistake? A man standing up or, in this case, sitting down for what he believes in should not be seen as a crime. He has valid reasoning behind it. We ignore the deaths of innocent African American Men everyday but when Kap speaks up he’s shunned. Rights are a joke! Who are we kidding? You have rights as long as no one is offended!

  35. Jakira S says:

    Exercising his right to sit or kneel during the National Anthem does not make him a bad person. I gained respect for him along with other celebrities that took and are taking a stand against issues in the United States. So many people jumped on his case for silently protesting but neglected to take heed to why he took this stance. With many people that had given their life for this country I can see how him kneeling or sitting during the national anthem is disrespectful but I also can see how those very people would be proud. They fought for a free, equal and safe nation and by taking a stance against the unjust in the country he is doing his part to fight for the same things.

  36. Sarah says:

    I think this is so embarrassing and such an uneducated and disrespectful act. Out of all of the things he could do, he decides that this is the way to go? This country is losing trust in police officers and we should all be intelligent enough to know that police officers are not out to kill people of color. Why does he not use his position to help bring the country back to trusting in the police? Try to start bringing peace which in return could calm down America, bring back the trust, which will help police officers feel safer as well. I cannot imagine being a police officer and knowing that most people do not respect the authority and power they have.
    I do not think that Colin understands the meaning of the national anthem and how many people he is disrespecting. He is out there making millions of dollars playing football while there are people dying and losing loved ones to keep people like him safe. And he cannot stand up to show them respect and say thank you? Things like this bring so much negative attention and honestly I do not believe he has done any good. He also has hurt his chances at many different teams wanting him. People do not want to bring someone on their team who has so much controversy following them.

  37. gnfelps says:

    I honestly do not have the right to judge Cap on his actions due to his ability to exercise his rights, but what he did could have been done a different way without disrespecting so many people in the process. The flag is something that represents those rights that we fought to get. Personally, I have several family members and friends who have served our country in the military to protect those rights that we do have. Cap is a pretty well known athlete, so he could have held a press conference or done a televised interview to get his view across. I am pretty positive the media would have been more than willing to help him out. Also, social media is continuously growing, so that could have helped spread his voice.

    I am honestly on the fence about the whole ordeal because even though he did something disrespectful, he actually stood for something he believed in the right way without destroying things in the process. People are doing far worse things like actually burning the flag, and destroying cities just to prove a point. He exemplifies how situations should be handled in a less violent and mature manner. But next time he needs to do it in a more influential manner!

  38. Brad G says:

    I am an assistant strength and conditioning coach at D-2 college. During this past football season a veteran gave a pre-game speech to our football team. He noted the casualties that he witness during his tours and how a hand-full of the men who died were personal friends of his. He personally sustained life changing injuries in combat. In short, his point was that the sacrifices to make this country safe are very real. He never once requested for everyone to stand for the national anthem, but everyone standing in that locker room realized then, if not before, that standing for the national anthem was a way to honor the men and women who are literally putting their lives on the line for the safety of everyone back home. The argument that standing/sitting for the national anthem has nothing to do with the military is a weak one. The color guard presents the flag at almost every game from college on up.

    I understand that it is Kaepernick or anyone else’s right to sit during the national anthem, but honor those who gave you that right. In my opinion, standing for the national anthem is a simple way to acknowledge what is being given to us.

    I will give Kaepernick and the other athletes who are doing this some credit. This is a peaceful protest. I am not saying he should not be allowed to kneel during the national anthem, I just do not agree with it at all.

    My final thought/comment: The fact that Kaepernick did not exercise his right to vote completely contradicts the point of his protesting. One candidate was seen as bigot, the other a forward-thinking progressive. I wonder which candidate someone concerned with national racism would vote for?

  39. Jhoskesia M says:

    At the end of the debate, Kaepernick has the right to exercise his freedom of speech. He was not disrespecting the flag…he was using his position to bring attention the the issues he sees in the country. My parents are Air Force vets and I was a law enforcement officer for over 7 years. I did not see it as a sign of disrespect, nor did any of my relatives. Perhaps that is because I have relatives there were the victims of hate crimes with no justice served. My relatives that were murdered were not criminals, thugs, or any of the negative stereo-types many young black males are portrayed to be. One was murdered because a young white male was jealous that his girlfriend was interested in my cousin. He was dragged out of his tent after drinking with them and drowned, yet the media focused on the fact they had been drinking and neglected to mention the bruises on his body and ties around his wrist. The young rich boys were not put in prison, even after the fbi could not rule out homicide. Another relative was the one shot in the back after being pulled over for a child support warrant. Its hard standing up and singing the national anthem and believing in a system after it has failed you. Refusing to stand comes from a place of hurt and rejections…it is not hate. How do you expect someone to react when feeling an injustice has been done, due to racial profiling? There is a sense of privilege in this country that needs to be addressed. If it didn’t exist, there wouldn’t be such a lack of empathy in these post by people that have never experienced what is is like to endure racism and hatred in this county. There is no dishonor is refusing to stand, due to current injustice in this country. His goal was to bring attention to injustice and he did that. We interpret disrespect according to our own belief system. The issue in this country is how we have the right to express our beliefs, yet we all want to force our beliefs on someone else. I know plenty white and black people (enlisted and vets) that have served that feel the same way Kapernick does. I see vets in DC all the time protesting about how the US government failed to provide for them. I have worked with those that served overseas that still suffer from mental disorders that aren’t afforded much help. My point is there are people in UNIFORM that agree with Kapernick’s protest. Regardless of how we feel…it was his right. Recently, a student at a college walking around with a swastika on his arm. The president advised the campus that although he doesnt agree with the hatred associated with the Holocaust, it is the students right to express himself. We can oppose Kapernick all day, but bottom line the same way we have the right to criticize, he is entitled to his beliefs and opinions.

    The thing about freedom is it comes with a price…Kapernick was willing to pay for what he belived in with the backlash he has endured. At the end of the day, I respect him for exercising his right and taking a stance versus just complaining on social media. I understand his intention was to oppose hatred and hold America accountable in order to better this country. I have no clue where this false notion of hatred for the country is coming from…

  40. D. T says:

    Here we are a year later and this is still a topic. Being an avid sports fan, this is something that I have been following for a year now. Cap has since been released by the 49ers and nobody has picked him up. Unsuspectingly, many of his NFL colleagues joined his movement in kneeling during the national anthem. At the same time, a number of players have came out disgusted in the movement he began. It has even gotten to the point where people have visited the NFL headquarters in New York City in protest to teams not picking up Cap. Some people believe he is unemployed because of this whole situation, instead of his performance on the field.

    Part of being an American is our freedom to voice our opinions, so I will never knock somebody because of them sticking up in what they believe in. I think the point he is trying to make is a valid one, and something that should (and has) been addressed. However, I do wish he went about it in a different way.

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