San Fransisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick is under fire after refusing to stand for the national anthem. Check his Twitter feed if you’d like to follow some of the action.
In true American fashion, within hours people were burning his jersey, he was mocked for daring to care about the oppression of others while he himself is a multi millionaire, memes were circling the internet showing wounded warriors going to great lengths to stand for the anthem while Colin Kaepernick is “able bodied, yet refuses”
But if you ask me? I’m impressed.
Because to be frank, patriotism isn’t that great. Nazi’s and North Koreans are very patriotic, what’s so great about that? Is a dutiful Nazi better than our unpatriotic and treasonous founding fathers who very un-patriotically told THEIR country to “F off”?
Kaepernick was quoted as saying the following:
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game against Green Bay. “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.”
The 49ers issued this statement: “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”…
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” he said. “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”
Showing integrity and using your platform to make a difference in the world vs merely using it for your own self promotion, is nothing to be ridiculed, disdained, or mocked. It should be commended.
Wasn’t this the same attitude our founding fathers had when their government became intolerable and oppressive? Why are so many people able to applaud these actions from over 200 years ago, but vilify the same spirit of righteous indignation and demands for justice when they see it in people today? . What is weak about a man abiding by his conscience, even to his own detriment?
As a Christian, I see pledging to a flag as a form of idolatry. A person’s postal address has nothing to do with the content of their character. A flag is nothing to die or kill for. My allegiance is to God, and the values I believe in – truth, liberty, and justice. My thoughts on flags, anthems, and allegiance aligns with that of Arundhati Roy when she said the following:
Like Kaepernick, I also often times do not stand for the anthem. It’s not something I hold particularly strong feelings about, for example, if I’m in the middle of a conversation with a friend at a game and the anthem comes on, I likely wont sit and will just stay standing. But if I’m not otherwise distracted or am already sitting down? – no way I am standing up just to talk to a piece of cloth. I’m not the only one. Last year I wrote a story about a New Hampshire girl who refused to stand..Linked here: Teacher Takes Action Against Student Who Refused to Stand for Pledge of Allegiance
Here is another quote from Kaepernick I would like to share:
“My faith is the basis from where my game comes from. I’ve been very blessed to have the talent to play the game that I do and be successful at it. I think God guides me through every day and helps me take the right steps and has helped me to get to where I’m at. When I step on the field, I always say a prayer, say I am thankful to be able to wake up that morning and go out there and try to glorify the Lord with what I do on the field. I think if you go out and try to do that, no matter what you do on the field, you can be happy about what you did,” Kaepernick told Daily Sparks Tribune in 2012.
I do believe Kaepernick should be proud of his actions on the field Friday. I believe he took a much bolder stand against injustice by sitting than he ever could have by standing and saying the pledge like everyone else.
Ironically, Kaepernick also showed a firm intolerance for systemic injustice and oppression – values shared by the often praised founders of our country – how very “American” of him.