Colin Kaepernick: Patriotism Isn’t the Point

49ers’ quarterback’s statement goes over the heads of the privileged majority.

You’re living under a rock if you haven’t heard this story yet. Americans everywhere are scandalized because NFL 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand at the customary playing of the national anthem before a football game. Kaepernick has already released a statement in defense of his actions, saying he refuses to stand in respect for a flag that represents a country that allows racial inequality. News sources everywhere are calling his statement “controversial,” not to mention all the Midwestern white people demonizing him for not standing at the sight of the American flag.

The big issue is the fact that someone didn’t stand for “The Star Spangled Banner.” Who the hell cares? His views on America, patriotism, and really anything else are no one’s business but his own. I’m sure Kaepernick did this purposely because he knew it would get the attention of the press and highlight the severity of a gigantic problem in the United States. If that is the case, I tip my hat to him, because he’s holding the press in the palm of his hand.

However, despite its positive influence of emphasizing an important issue in our country, I don’t think this should’ve gotten the press that it did. In this I am completely ignoring his statement and simply analyzing his actions. People don’t seem to care why he wouldn’t stand, just the simple fact that he wouldn’t stand. But why does that matter? There are plenty of American people who aren’t necessarily proud to call themselves Americans, don’t hail the flag, and live their daily lives like nothing ever happened. Because nothing did happen. Poor Kaepernick is being crucified simply because he didn’t do something. Apparently a lack of action is enough to grill someone all over the news and social media.

In response to this act, Alex Boone, former teammate of Kaepernick and current player for the Minnesota Vikings, says “We’re out here playing a game, making millions of dollars. People are losing their [lives], and you don’t have the common courtesy to do that. That just drove me nuts.”[1] This shows how little Boone actually thought about the actions of his former teammate. Going back to his original purpose for ignoring the flag, Kaepernick wanted to bring light to the racial inequalities in America, especially in a time where so many people of color are being shot without reason, and so few police officers are being properly punished. Yes, Boone, people are losing their lives overseas. It’s awful and we should respect those that sacrifice for us. But why should we respect the bodies falling in Syria without even respecting the bodies falling in our streets? It’s an unfortunate situation on either end, but the reason we honor that flag is that it gives people the freedom and the right to refuse to honor it. Just because one is born in a country does not mean they have to love it, especially when they see such injustices to people of color, especially when they are a person of color. So you may not like that Colin Kaepernick sits during the national anthem, but to be honest, Colin Kaepernick doesn’t have to give two hoots what you think.

[1]Pelissero, Tom. “Ex-teammate Rips Kaepernick: ‘It’s Shameful'” MSN Sports. USA Today Sports, 28 Aug. 2016. Web. 29 Aug. 2016.

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