Colin Kaepernick has every right not to stand during the singing of our national anthem. That is a freedom guaranteed to him by our Constitution and protected by the military and law enforcement officers whom he is choosing to disparage.
Fans across the country also have the right to agree with him, or to express their outrage at Mr. Kaepernick’s generalizations and mal-informed commentary. If they want to burn his jersey in protest, that is also their right. If they want to boycott the 49ers, or boycott any product that he has endorsed, they can go ahead and more power to them. That is how the marketplace works.
I hope the NFL doesn’t take punitive action against Kaepernick. That might have a chilling effect on his First Amendment rights. I hope the NFL remembers said rights when the Dallas Cowboys want to display pro-police decals on their uniforms, or when some closet white supremacist screams, “Make America great again!” as he runs through the goal posts. The NFL should stay out of politics and stick to policing quarterbacks who suck the air out of their balls, or slapping the wrists of wife-beaters.
My minimal research indicates that Mr. Kaepernick is a man of considerable wealth. If he wanted to have a meaningful impact on race relations, there were other, far less petulant methods he might have employed to do so. But given the recent climate of symbolism over substance that permeates our politics and our culture in this country, I’m not surprised he chose this route; a route that might very well backfire on him. He probably should analyze the career trajectory of The Dixie Chicks before he pulls more stunts such as this one.
Or, maybe I’m just over-thinking the whole thing. My minimal research also indicates that Mr. Kaepernick has spent a lot of time on the bench of late. Maybe he just got to like sitting down so much that he didn’t feel that the flag was worth stretching his legs.
My final thought…thank God Denver didn’t acquire him! In the aftermath of Von Miller and The Great QB Question, we don’t need any more drama. Thank you, Marty.