I’ve been a fan of Colin Kaepernick since he quarterbacked the team at the University of Nevada in nearby Reno. I do not agree with his decision to sit during the “Star-Spangled Banner” but I support his right to do so. It’s also likely that I won’t wear my Forty-Niners/Kaepernick jersey this season, but more from fear of backlash from fans that are angry with him, than any protest of my own against him.
Kaep has legitimate concerns about our country, but I think he is wrong to say that the problems permeate the entire nation. There are many locations where people of different races get along well. There will always be trouble in spots – not just with racism, but with wealth inequality (which is not limited to a racial divide), religion and social issues. Kaepernick said he’s waiting for things to get better; he may be sitting his entire life.
I also question whether he really understands everything he speaks about. He was adopted by white parents, living in their world. He could afford the college education that propelled him into a million-dollar sports job.
I’ve heard some criticism that he hasn’t spoken before about social issues, so this is a stunt. Phooey! For everyone that works for justice, there has to be a first step. Maybe this is Kaep’s. Another criticism is that he doesn’t do volunteer work in the inner city. But Kaep has worked for a number of years with children with heart problems at Camp Taylor in California. He doesn’t have to march with Black Lives Matter to be a caring, giving guy.
I think people ought to lighten up. I have not heard this much uproar when NFL players have been accused of murder or domestic abuse. I am a patriot, an anthem singer, a Pledge of Allegiance reciter. But I am far more concerned about human lives, keeping kids safe, helping those in poverty, etc. People are always more important than symbols.