Opinion: Kaepernick is More Right Than You Realize

kim kardashian

The news has been full of stories of NFL player Colin Kaepernick and his snub of the national anthem at his games. Many people are outraged by the athlete’s actions and his choices. Kaepernick is saying that his actions are a protest against the country’s treatment of African Americans in the country. While this alone is enough to justify his actions to many people, others are still not convinced. While digging deeper into the issue, the people of the American public can realize that his protests against the institutionalized racism that this country continues to exhibit goes deeper than many even realize.

A majority of the people who protest the choice Kaepernick has made immediately see his sitting as disrespectful to the United States military and their protection of the US flag and the song that represents the country. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have been filled with Americans who support this interpretation of Kaepernick’s actions. Some of these people are calling for Kaepernick to be dismissed from his team and from the NFL altogether.

http://twitter.com/Lrihendry/status/770367939505639424

While there is a large portion of the country that is supporting this notion, several veterans have also taken to social media to support Kaepernick in what he is doing. These veterans are stating what many people already believe to be true. That soldiers of the US military do not fight for a flag or a song, but they fight for the people of the country, their rights under the country’s constitution, and for the potential that the nation has despite all of its issues. By choosing to not stand during the national anthem, Kaepernick is not disrespecting the values of the United States, but he is exercising the rights that the laws of this country gave him to bring attention to the laws and policies that need to be addressed and modified in the country. His actions are less about who he is disrespecting and more about who he is trying to gain more respect for. And that is the African American population of the United States of America.

As minorities dig deeper and deeper into the history of the nation they are supposed to uphold with pride and dignity, they see more and more that the country is not fully representing the values that they stand for. This is even seen in the very song that is causing so much controversy. Francis Scott Keys wrote the song several years ago when slavery was still intact. CNN is reporting that historians have been debating for decades on whether or not some of the lines in the second verse of the song are actually racist, but many Americans are rightfully offended that these questionable lyrics can be found in the words of a song that is supposed to represent everyone in the nation. CNN also reports that these controversial lines read as follows:

“And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave.”

In recent months, people of the US have been in heated debate over the treatment of the black community in the country. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has gained a lot of national attention and is demanding that the US government start punishing people, including law enforcement officers, who mistreat and racially profile African Americans in the country. Kaepernick’s actions and motivation mirror that of the movement of black people in the nation who are tired of being treated like second class citizens. He as even gone so far as to donate his first paycheck from the NFL to charities this season. Actions like these continue to highlight that not even black men and women who are living with the top percentage of the country can stand by and ignore the wrongs happening in the US.

Kaepernick is one of the few professional football players in the nation who is actually trying to use his fame, talent, and wealth to make a difference in the world. So often people criticize athletes for not doing more with their fame and money. Now a young man is doing his best to use his platform to affect social change, and the world instantly tears him down. Instead of chastising Kaepernick, people should be praising him. Instead of ignoring his message, people should be striving to learn more about the protests. And instead of sitting idly by, others in powerful positions should do as he as done and get involved in affecting social change in the United States.

 

About Dana Matthews

Naturally curious and an advocate of social change. Lifelong theater goer. Lover of good books, good food, and good friends.

Have a tip we should know? tips@rhd.news

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