Rodney Harrison might not think he’s black, but to me Colin Kaepernick is a Black Man. He’s damn sure acting like one right now. The strength and conviction it takes to take a stand (well I guess not a literal stand in this case), and not back down with so much on the line, is damn sure commendable in my book
Some may think he doesn’t have a ton to lose since he lost his starting job last year, but in a world where Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith still have jobs… There is potential for Kaep out here. But I digress…..
There are a ton of pundits, athletes, politicians and celebrities weighing in on this. You have those who are on his side such as Ndamukong Suh, Deandre Levy and countless other players and teammates who say they support and respect Kaepernick and his actions 100%. You also have those people such as Jerry Rice, Donald Trump and Tomi Lahren, who may suggest that Colin needs to stop disrespecting the flag and our military, or even need to find a “better” country to live (no comment)…
But to those people, I say “Fuck Off.” He has already made it very clear what he is and is not protesting here. But yeah, selective hearing….
We also have those people such as Aaron Rodgers and Coach John Harbaugh who perhaps do not agree with his actions but respect and understand where he is coming from. And to those gentlemen, and everyone like them, I say “You are part of what’s great about America”. As Harbaugh quoted from the French Philosopher Voltaire, “I may not agree with what you say, but I’ll defend it until death your right to say it.” Isn’t that what America was built on; Freedom? Freedom of Speech and expression?
To be completely honest with you I don’t know if I would have the mind to do this, but at the same time I could definitely see myself doing it. I haven’t been in a venue lately that has played the national anthem as of late, so I can’t really say. We’ll see next time I step foot into a sporting event, since that seems to be the only place you hear the anthem nowadays. But I’ll tell you what: If I decide I do not want to stand for the anthem, I won’t and I don’t really give a damn who has anything to say about it.
If I don’t want to stand for the anthem of a country that in 2016, is still fighting to preserve racist history of the Confederate flag, then I won’t. If I don’t want to stand for the anthem of a country where a white kid can shoot 9 Black church going American citizens in the middle of a service and walk out unharmed, but countless unarmed black men are being slaughtered by that same law enforcement, then I won’t. If I don’t want to stand for the anthem of a country that at one point did not even want black people holding and waving their flag because we were not good enough, then I won’t.
America is a great country; but it has its flaws. And I’ll make this comparison only because I literally just finished watching the ESPN 30for30 “OJ: Made in America” (you need to watch it if you haven’t seen it.):
In this example America is OJ and the Black community is Nicole Brown. Did OJ and Nicole, always have issues, problems and bad times? No. There were some good times, amazing moments, and love there. Because of OJ’s celebrity and wealth, there was also stuff for Nicole he could do that she wouldn’t be able to do elsewhere. BUT, since hindsight is always 20/20…. Is there anyone in this great country that would suggest that maybe, Nicole shouldn’t have “protested” or confronted her husband for some of his actions, and not just took the abuse and turn down countless opportunities to report him to the cops and make a difference? Is anyone reading this going to sit here and tell me she should have stood up and pledged her allegiance to her husband? We unfortunately all know how that story ended.
With all that being said, I salute Colin Kaepernick. I salute any and all athletes, celebrities and human beings with a platform who take a stand for something they believe in, and don’t back down when they begin to receive criticism. Definitely when you have something to lose. I don’t have the platform that Colin or any of these other athletes have, but best believe if I did, I’d hope I’d be able to spark conversation just like this. “With Great Power comes Great Responsibility.” Kaep may not be perfect, but I think he is being responsible here. Salute my brotha!