Colin Kaepernick is an American football player and former Quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers. During a preseason game in 2016, he sat down during the playing of our country’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Kaepernick said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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."
“What happened 2 being a leader for your team, your family & the young people looking up to U? Appreciating the 1000’s who have died for you?” — Former NFL Quarterback Jeff Garcia said from Twitter.
"It was one of the most disgraceful displays I've ever seen by a professional athlete on his field of play. He signed a contract with an NFL football team. He has on an NFL football helmet. He has got an NFL uniform on. He doesn't have the right, I don't believe, to now start putting out his own political views in that form.”
–– Former NFL Quarterback and NFL Analyst Boomer Esiason said.
"I would tell him (Kaepernick): Before you open your mouth again, maybe you should take a ride in a police car on Friday or Saturday night in one of these major urban cities in America," Esiason said. "Just go on a couple of 9-1-1 calls. Maybe then you can get an idea of what these people, making $35,000 a year, have to deal with.”
Kaepernick took a stand for people of color who don’t have a voice to express their frustrations. He said himself that protesting is bigger than football, and it would be selfish of him not to acknowledge the injustice going on against people of color in our country.
Let's not forget the narrative.
According to former NFL Quarterback and NFL Analyst Trent Dilfer, “No matter how passionate you are, no matter how much of a burden you have for a social issue, you don’t let it get in the way of the team,” Dilfer said. “This is a back-up Quarterback, whose job is to be quiet, sit in the shadows, get the Quarterback started and ready to play. Although I respect what he’s doing, and the passion and burden he has for this issue, but I don’t respect the fact that he put himself and his stance above the team.”
Former NFL Cornerback and NFL Analyst Charles Woodson challenged Dilfer and said, “This stand that he took, it’s not about Colin Kaepernick, we are talking about humanity, this is for everybody,” Woodson said. “I hear people saying there is a time and a place to do certain things, but what is the objectivity of any protest? To get maximum exposure for what it is you’re talking about. I think this is an opportunity missed by the NFL because when you think of the NFL locker rooms, it’s as diverse as any other place."
The Star-Spangled Banner
I wonder how many people know that there was a third verse to "The Star-Spangled Banner?" The third verse from The Star-Spangled Banner was omitted because it celebrates the murder of African-Americans.
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.
The phrase “hireling and slave” refers to black slaves hired to fight on the side of the British during the War of 1812 between the United States and the United Kingdom.
Originally a patriotic poem, the author of The Star-Spangled Banner, Francis Scott Key was also a slave owner. Within the song, there is a line that says, “land of the free,” but Scott Key wasn’t talking about Black people.
I noticed when there is an issue about people of color fighting for injustice, there is a lot of detours and distractions that attempt to take the focus off the issue at hand. I also realized an issue is only important to people if it affects them personally, because if it doesn’t, they don’t have anything to worry about because it’s doesn’t disturb their everyday lives.
In my opinion, this way of thinking needs to change. For example, if the roles were reversed with Black police officers killing unarmed White men at an alarming rate, how would the Caucasian community react? Passive or aggressive?
I wish I had the answers.