I had a recent debate with a friend over whether my friend agreed or disagreed with Colin Kaepernick’s protest by sitting during the national anthem. My friend and I both were passionate in our arguments for and against Kaepernick. My friend’s view was that the 49ers should get rid of Kaepernick or the league should throw him out of league altogether. He went on to say Kaepernick should try driving a cab for living instead of playing football over his refusal to stand during the national anthem. He said “When you make your living here you should respect the flag and stand for the flag during the national anthem”. I shot back what does how much money he earns have to do with his right to protest?
My argument was that Colin Kaepernick wasn’t doing anything unpatriotic by silently protesting injustices in this country which touts itself as the world’s greatest nation. America espouses the moral beliefs that all men are created equal, and have the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. That they have the right to freedom of speech/expression. It also says that all men have the right to be protected and treated fairly under the law regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs or ethnicity. These are all the things that the founders of America believed in and what made America greater than any other nation on the face of the earth.
What we have seen though is that America was founded on injustice, slavery, exploitation, double standards, systemic institutionalized racist policies and/or practices which continue to this day. This is so much so that it has to be spelled out for people in legislation for employment, for housing or even to attend institutions of higher learning.
Colin Kaepernick’s protest using his celebrity/athlete platform to highlight the contradiction between what America was founded to be versus what is has historically shown itself to be (while better than many other nations) isn’t actually living up to the foundation it’s predicated upon for ALL of it’s citizens. It’s important to note that the right to protest is an American idea and tradition supported by the constitution. Colin Kaepernick as a man and citizen of the U.S.A is exercising his rights and for that he’s ridiculed by fellow “Americans”. I call that ignorance and B.S.
I say all this to say that we ended our dialogue agreeing to disagree on whether or not Kaepernick was disrespecting the flag. I ended my point with my friend by saying “How unpatriotic could he be when he goes out there, works for his living, supports this very same government which taxes his multi-million dollar earnings annually, by electing to exercise the rights afforded to him as a citizen?”
I turn the debate over to you with this poll question