So this mess started when Colin Kaepernick was unhappy with Unarmed Black people being shot by white police officers. So he launches a silent protest during the National Anthem before a 49er’s game. This has created a storm of controversy and opinions galore. It’s here where any semblance of common sense has gone out the window, and has set us on a contentious path.
Unfortunately this topic consumed me for a while. I talked to friends both black and white about it in order to understand it and I did get some enlightenment from it. Here are some highlights:
We have a problem with the current connection with the action and reason for the knee taking and the National Anthem. I hope that this wasn’t a kick by Colin against America, but really just an extremely visible show of a man’s protest for police shooting unarmed black men. That was his stated intent, but to some this is was an intentional disrespect to the flag and to the armed forces who bleed and give lives to be sure we can have the freedoms we enjoy. For this reason, I honestly don’t think it mattered if they were black or white, if anyone were to take a knee, they would have taken a lot of heat for the same reason. Some others saw it as here is a man who makes more money than i’ll ever see in my lifetime, and he is unhappy and protesting a against a country who made him rich. Again I don’t believe that it would have mattered who took a knee or what color they are, it would have been taken negatively by the majority of people.
In Kaepernick’s case his reason behind why he did it may have been valid, but it’s not really related to the Anthem, and that’s where the problem begins. His protest had nothing to do with the game, his treatment in the NFL, or the Anthem. His purpose was to bring his perception of an outside social issue to the forefront in a very public way and he did so. However the act is now a marriage of racial isues and the anthem. if you criticize the act or the people who do it, you now run the risk of being labelled a racist. They aren’t related in that way, but some can’t separate it, and that’s why people will never agree about it or come together until they understand that.
The issue is further exacerbated by the fact that his protest was done in front of the people at the game and a large television audience. Regardless of the validity of his protest, he’s a representative of his team and is at work where the expectation is that he like all athletes, stand for the Anthem. That act to some was admirable, but not without a price. The result is that he was not re-signed by San Francisco and was out there in free agency. There were teams in need of a quarterback, but all of them have passed on him, because frankly they are in the entertainment business and this wasn’t appealing to the majority of fans. Don’t make the mistake to think that I don’t think that the cause was important, but at work, you and I can’t just express our thoughts or feelings any way we feel.
Trump made things much worse with his unedited tweets and AD-HOC speeches. He basically called for the Owners to fire anybody who doesn’t stand and respect the flag. This created a new focus where folks not only are kneeling for the original reasons, but now I believe they do it to show defiance to Trump. The instances increased and it found it’s way all the way down to even elementary sports where the kids don’t really have a full grasp of the implications. more later…