It always amazes me when people seem to confuse the right to make a statement with the right to be insulated from the reaction to their actions. Take for example, 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, who recently sat down during the playing of our National Anthem. There is no question, he has every right to do it. But Newton's third law of physics applies here:
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Americans, in response, have the right to sit at home when asked to stand in line to support him or the 49ers. Just as Colin has a right to make his statement, Americans have a right to disagree with him, to loathe his actions and to use their pocket books to complete their statement of disagreement.
I will stand up for that.
Colin has every right to sit down. Just as he has the right make up some lame excuse for his gesture. Colin seems to believe that America is a land of oppression and police abuse. Unfortunately for Colin, the facts contradict his statement.
The majority of Americans that die from police abuse constitute a very small number and are mostly whites. The vast majority of blacks that are killed in homicides are by black on black crime. The percentage of incarceration of minorities is due to the larger percentage of crimes that are committed by those groups.
Perhaps someone should ask Colin if the record number of homicides in Chicago are the result of police abuse.
Some ESPN columnist seems to think he is courageous.
Real courage is the Dallas Police running towards gunfire to protect fellow citizens.
Real courage is putting on a uniform for more than one day and going to work with the real possibility of not coming home because you can be killed in the line of action trying to protect citizens.
Real courage is doing that every day in some of America's most dangerous places to serve the public and for a tiny percentage of what high-priced professional athletes make, in communities that I am certain Colin Kaepernick does not live remotely close to.
There is no question that racism still exists in America and, unfortunately, the racial climate seems much worse today, after 8 years of progressive policies under the current administration. But last time I checked, the president of the United States was an African American. The head of the Justice Department was an African American. In a 2012 article, six of the top ten highest paid NFL players on the Forbes list were African American. In the 21st century America, racism is represented by the fringe of our society and that constitutes a small percentage of the whole.
In America, everyone has the right to say and do stupid things, just as people have the right to say Kaepernick's action, is a self-serving gesture by a player who is failing to win his postion and utilizing some desperate tactic to seek attention.
Compare Colin's actions with the recent actions of U.S. Olympic Bronze Medal Pole Vaulter U.S. Army Reserve 2nd LT Sam Kendrick. Sam Kendrick stopped, dropped his pole and stood for the Star Spangled Banner at this year's Olympic games in the middle of competition, to honor this country that has afforded its people liberty and freedom.
As a reservist in the military, Sam and his fellow soldiers have witnessed firsthand, real oppression. They know firsthand, the price of freedom.
But Sam was not trying to draw attention to himself.
Perhaps Colin needs to visit countries that do not have the freedom that some spoiled multi-millionaire athletes apparently take for granted.
America is great because we have the freedom and liberty to follow our dreams, and the freedom of self expression. Our national anthem is deserving of respect because it represents this great country that protects the freedom to stand up or sit down for what you believe in.
Part of that freedom is the right to make stupid gestures. Just don't be offended when people call you stupid.
There is a quote often attributed to Lincoln which Colin may want to consider in the future…
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to "sit down" and to remove all doubt.