Last night, San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the US National Anthem. He later said he couldn’t stand for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.
If he is planning on sitting for every country that hurts and oppresses people, he won’t be standing this season. That may make being a mediocre QB in the NFL a difficult job.
Usain Bolt of Jamaica did the exact opposite – he stopped his interview to respect the US National Anthem. Impressive.
I’d like to make a trade proposal to Jamaica: we’ll send Kaepernick and cash considerations (we just keep printing it, so it’s no big deal) for Bolt.
Does the US have problems? Of course.
Is there a country better all-around? I don’t know. That’s probably always going to be debatable.
But if Kaeperick thinks the US is so bad – he’s free to leave and give up his US citizenship any time. But I bet he won’t. Because he loves the paycheck the US offers football players. He can’t get that anywhere else… and he may not get that in this country much longer.
If Kaepernick sat during the “Pledge of Allegiance,” I would applaud him. Nobody should pledge blind allegiance to a country and its government. Your allegiance should be to yourself, your family and friends, then grow out from there but should probably never include the governing body dictating to you – or harming/oppressing you.
In contrast to the pledge, the National Anthem is about the freedoms this country has won (not easy battles) and kept (only some of them, sadly).
Also, I don’t buy the whole “you were born here so fall in line” stick. I do buy the whole, “if you’re an adult and still choose to live here, you shouldn’t trash the party for others.” Nobody says you have to sing it (I don’t) – but respect is easy to give to any country, not just ours. Ironically, Kaepernick has a tattoo that says “RESPECT”…
Words matter. Actions matter even more.
We have freedom of expression (most of the time), which is amazing. This is how he chooses to use it. We also have consequences for our choice of expression.
Kaepernick slighted the country full of people that write his paycheck (by watching so much football -> more advertisers -> his paycheck). Not smart. I suspect the market will correct him for his actions. Unless the government steps in once again where they shouldn’t.
And if you think you’re oppressed in the US… you’re almost guaranteed to be in the top 10% in terms of wealth of the world (and Kaepernick is top 1%). Congrats on winning the birth lottery.
Here’s to those who fought, many who died, for freedoms we enjoy in the US today.