This is a guest post to our site from writer Ameer Collier of TheDocsFormula
It appears almost everyone has something to say about San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit or now kneel during the national anthem last Friday prior a preseason game versus Chuck’s favorite squad the Green Bay Packers and Thursday night against the San Diego Chargers. From former footballers Jerry Rice and Tiki Barber to the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Guess it’s my turn.
A few weeks ago, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett blatantly called out his NFL colleagues to speak out about the social injustices and inequalities occurring in the black community, especially taking into account the league is roughly 70 to 80 percent black. Obviously Colin Kaepernick was listening. However, what most have failed to point out is that this is not the first time Kaepernick has sat during the national anthem. It was only because he was in uniform that day and set to take the field that he was called out for being “unpatriotic”. It shows you how fans and spectators truly care for celebrities and/or athletes when they are not present for their entertainment with rebuttals such as “STFU! He makes $100 million year talking about white privilege”.
Dude, the only reason more people in Kap’s position are not speaking out is because they’re making $100 million too. Do you really think the individuals signing those checks want or ultimately allow them to take stances as such? Hell no.
The bigger issue boils down to the First amendment in the United States Constitution, which clearly states – that citizens have the right to freedom of speech, expression, petition, religion, and so on. Unless you’re like Muhammad Ali refusing to be drafted in the military and in retaliation gathering athletes such as Jim Brown, Bill Russell, and Kareem Abdul Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) to fight against racism and injustice back in Cleveland in 1967. Unless you’re Tommie Smith and John Carlos who chose to raise their fists during the national anthem after winning gold and bronze Olympic medals at the 1968 Olympics. Unless you’re in the WNBA with players who barely make six figures a year and yet resisted the media’s questions unless those questions addressed the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Or unless in this case when you’re Colin Kaepernick. America only allows you to be comfortable until you do or say what makes them uncomfortable.
It’s a “comfortable” tradition to salute the flag and stand during a national anthem that was created by a racist in Francis Scott Key (do your Googles, word to my man Kese Obeezy). It’s “comfortable” to know the military is fighting for the “freedom and liberties of the American people” and not the government’s agenda. It’s “comfortable” knowing people believe America stands as the “gold standard” amongst all nations when it won’t stand for many people in its own backyard being murdered by the same individuals trained to “protect them”. For some, it’s “comfortable” being ignorant. However, in this information age that is no longer an excuse to ignore reality.
Reality is citizens actually salute “the promises of the American flag” as said by Sportscenter anchor Stan Verrett. The promises of “liberty, freedom, and justice for all” except those named Emmett Till, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, and a long list of black people. This is an issue much bigger than sports yet the focus has become Colin Kaepernick’s current position and actions and not the motivation behind it. Stay woke as you folks on Twitter would say.