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One of the things I have learned in life (besides not asking for a phone number at last call) is that your first reaction is not necessarily the right reaction. Colin Kaepernick is a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers and he is the talk of the country this morning. It’s not because of what he did on the football field it’s because of what he did, or actually didn’t do, off the football field.
On Friday night he sat on the bench and refused to stand for the National Anthem prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers. My initial reaction was one of outrage as I believe, or have been conditioned, to stand, place my hand over my heart and remove my cap when the aforementioned anthem is played. Kaepernick refused to stand and he makes millions of dollars playing a “game” in a country of freedom. What was his reason behind this refusal? “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “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.” Hmmmm. My initial reaction was “what a dick.” (Trent Richardson, former Browns first round pick does the same thing but it’s at his house, on the couch with 15 family members running around like bulls in Mexico but that’s because he sucks and can’t find a team that wants him to put on a helmet).
After I thought about it (translation: Having a martini and trolling on Plenty of Fish) I realize the very fact that he can do what he did is what this country was built upon. Freedom of speech. Do I agree? No. That’s not the point. We can’t let our hearts rule our mind. We need to concentrate on the first Amendment to our Constitution. If you are like me then you never paid attention in American History and instead looked at the blossoming breasts of your fellow female classmates (am I being TOO honest?). Let me refresh your mammary: Freedom of speech is the right to communicate one’s opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship.
Although I do not agree with his decision I have to respect his right to do so. The irony is that many Americans have fought, and given their lives, for his right to sit on his ass during the playing of our National Anthem. Football players are tough. I challenge Mr. Kaepernick to do this in front of a veteran as I believe those are our true heroes and their dedication and sacrifice has nothing to do with three hours on sixteen Sundays out of the year.