Colin Kaepernick Is Making a Fool of Himself [Opinion]
The headline of this opinion piece really says it all: Kaepernick is making a fool of himself.
Here you have a young man, well educated and talented, who should know better. And he does know better, but he's caught up in a moment not of his own making. Following a flawed logic created by a movement that is polluted with ignorance and misinformation, he wants you to believe that he's now not just an athlete but also an activist.
Kaepernick had anything but an oppressed upbringing. Adopted as an infant by Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, he lived in Wisconsin the first four years of his life and then the family relocated to Turlock, CA. Raised Methodist, confirmed Lutheran and attending Baptist churches, his Christian upbringing almost certainly did not lead him to this latest road. Rumors of a conversion to Islam seem to be little more than just rumors right now. Kaepernick gives this explanation at NFL.com:
"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."
Kaepernick's birth mother was white, his biological father was black. His adoptive parents are both white. Apparently influenced by the so-called 'Black Lives Matter' movement, Kaepernick seems to think that by disrespecting the very lives that have afforded him the opportunity to become the star athlete he has become, he will somehow affect change.
Kaepernick and many others are trying to convince you that patriotism and the expression of it is equal to sanctioning racism and bigotry. They want you to believe that participating in something such as the singing of the national anthem somehow makes you a racist, a bigot or a hate monger. Their ideology is rooted in pure ignorance.
"The Star Spangled Banner" actually began as a poem, the words pulled from a poem called "Defence of Fort McHenry", written by Francis Scott Key during the British Naval bombardment of the Fort during the War of 1812. The words were set to the British tune 'The Anacreon in Heaven', a song that, by the time of Key's poem, was already popular in America.
It was adopted for official use by the U.S. Navy in 1889 and made the official national anthem by congressional resolution in 1931. The bond between the playing of the anthem at sporting events dates back to at least 1918 and Babe Ruth's final postseason appearance with the Red Sox. It was likely used at baseball games well before that date. The poetic anthem is part war ballad, part taunt (You didn't defeat us, now did you?) and part pride in our nation. It fits perfectly with the battle on the sports field as both an expression of pride and a nod to the nation in which they compete.
For Kaepernick or any other athlete to refuse to stand for the national anthem is absolutely within their rights. But just because you have the right to do something doesn't make it a smart decision. Our national anthem is a symbol of our nation's sovereignty, our freedom and of the flag that symbolizes who we are. It's a poetic expression of the desire of the people to preserve and defend our republic.
Kaepernick disrespected his country, his teammates and the memory of those who have died to protect the very freedom and sovereignty that has made his life and career possible. Yes, he had a right to not stand, but his decision to exercise that right has and will continue to come with consequences. NFL fans are burning his jersey's and threatening to boycott San Francisco 49ers games. Whatever athletic talents and abilities he has possessed will now forever be overshadowed by this single act. What he views as protest, a vast majority of the nation views as blatant disrespect. Kaepernick is rejecting the reality of America in favor of baseless propaganda. Good luck overcoming that, Colin.