If we live in the land of the free, home of the brave, why so much hate against a man for choosing to exercise that freedom you claim this ‘republic’ represents?

When I first sat down to work on this article, I was prepared to dive in to all of the nuances and background context of the actions of 2nd, maybe 3rd string quarterback and former rising star, Colin Kaepernick.  I was prepared to look back into his past, his alleged ties to the BLM, his Muslim conversion and his social justice tweet history.

But as I looked into this, what I kept coming across was the way “Americans” have been reacting to Kaepernick.  It was their reaction, the tone they have taken, the implications of those tones that changed my mind.  I have decided to focus on the action of any individual, FOR WHATEVER REASON, deciding to dare sit for the National Anthem, to dare challenge the image of America as being the beacon of freedom for the world.  But first, for context, listen and read for yourself the reasons given by Kaepernick for sitting for the national anthem.

 

Here is an encapsulation of his initial statement:

“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.”

Kaepernick said that he is aware of what he is doing and that he knows it will not sit well with a lot of people, including the 49ers. He said that he did not inform the club or anyone affiliated with the team of his intentions to protest the national anthem.

“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” he said. “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”

Kaepernick said that he has thought about going public with his feelings for a while but that “I felt that I needed to understand the situation better.”

He said that he has discussed his feelings with his family and, after months of witnessing some of the civil unrest in the U.S., decided to be more active and involved in rights for black people. Kaepernick, who is biracial, was adopted and raised by white parents and siblings.

 

Here is his follow-up interview after the game:

At the end of this post, you can read the transcript from the video interview above.

Here is my reaction to Colin Kaepernick sitting for the National Anthem.  In essence, it’s this; if you claim to live in the land of the free, home of the brave, why are threatening to ruin a man’s career, why are you threatening violence against a man just because he refuses to acknowledge your flag and your country?

 

 

 

 

Transcript (unedited from the YouTube transcript):

0:00
having this and make people realize what’s really going on in this country
0:04
there are a lot of things that are going on that unjust people are being held
0:07
accountable for and that’s something that needs to change something that no
0:13
this country stands for freedom liberty and justice for all and it’s not
0:18
happening for all right now just don’t get involved is lost in your money out
0:24
of this progressive biggest and it’s something that I’ve seen felt wasn’t
0:33
quite sure how to deal with originally and it is something that’s above is
0:39
something as I’m getting more knowledge about you know what’s going on this
0:42
country in the past what’s going on currently
0:45
these are new situations
0:48
this is a new ground is things that have gone on this country for years and years
0:53
and have never going to dress and they need to do to me
0:57
Union College continue to sit yes I continue to sit
1:03
I’m gonna continue to stand with the people that are being a press to me this
1:07
is something that has to change and when your significant change and I feel like
1:11
that flag represents was supposed to represent this country is representing
1:16
people the way that supposed to austin to change your there is a lot of things
1:23
that need to change once one specifically please protect his people
1:28
being murdered unjustly and not being held accountable
1:32
cops are getting paid leave for killing people
1:36
that’s not right that’s not right by anyone’s standards its kind of symbol of
1:44
military how do you do it in and what do you say to those people I you know I
1:51
have great respect for men women that offer this country have family have
1:54
friends that are going to offer this country and they fight for freedom they
1:59
fight for the people who fight for liberty and justice for every it has not
2:04
happened
2:04
I mean people are dying in vain because this country’s and holding their into
2:09
the bargain as far as nope giving freedom and justice and liberty to
2:15
everybody is something that’s not happening and I’ve seen videos I’ve seen
2:20
certain circumstances wire many women that have been military
2:25
and come back and then treated unjustly mana countries a possible and have been
2:30
murdered by the country they fought on our land that’s not right
2:36
how do you personally feel trust first ever been in situations where i feel
2:43
like i’ve been ill-treated yes but this stand wasn’t for me
2:48
the stand was it because I feel like I’m being put down in any kind of way
2:56
this is because I’m seeing things happen to people that don’t have a voice people
3:00
that don’t have a platform to talk and have their voices heard and effect
3:05
change so I’m going to position where i can do that i’m going to do that for
3:10
people that can’t it just the first year that you haven’t stood up
3:14
did you did you do with other your service it’s the first time this is the
3:18
first year that it all all so far yet further notice
3:23
yes makes this time when you explained yourself today
3:28
and what was this support their sports support from my fee basis we break
3:34
no I think a lot of my teammates come from areas where this might be a
3:39
situation their families might be put in this situation is something that I’ve
3:45
had a lot of people come up to me and say you know I really respect you for
3:48
what you’re doing and what you’re standing for so to me that’s something
3:52
that I know what I’m doing what’s right and other people see what I’m doing is
3:58
right is something that we have to come together we have to unite we have to
4:03
unify and make it challenge certain people doing the right thing I don’t
4:12
understand how the wrong way to me this is freedom that were allowing this
4:19
country and going back to the military thing it’s a freedom that men and women
4:23
to have fought for this country have given me this opportunity by the concert
4:27
contributions they have made so I’m seeing is going about it the wrong way
4:33
this is something that has to be said it has to be brought to the forefront of
4:37
everyone’s attention and when that’s done I think people can realize what the
4:42
situation is and then really affect change every season game almost relieved
4:48
that this game and questioning
4:53
it wasn’t something that I really planning this far is it blowin up it was
4:59
something that personally decided I just can’t stand for but this represents
5:04
right now it’s not right and the fact that it has blowing up like this I think
5:10
is a good thing nobody brings awareness everybody knows what’s going on and this
5:16
sheds more light on now I think people are really talking about having
5:21
conversations about how to make changes what’s really going on in this country
5:24
and we can before dad was that concern is can be seems like it
5:33
typing it’s long and general as far as what I don’t really understand much i
5:39
didn’t get murdered by police after you think it seemed to sort of the
5:44
timeliness police areas police brutality yeah people of color happens our
5:51
devotees so that’s a large part of it and their government officials there put
5:56
in place by the government so you know that’s something that this country has
6:01
the change
6:02
there’s things we can do to you know hold it more accountable make those
6:06
standards higher you have people that practice long our lawyers and go to
6:11
school for eight years but you can become common six months and don’t have
6:15
to have the same training as a constant college this
6:19
that’s insane I mean somebody’s holding a Carly night
6:25
more education more training and people have a gun and are going out on the
6:29
streets and protected beyond sitting what was that you plan on doing stuff
6:37
you’re sitting during the national anthem as far as actress kind of roll
6:43
your sleeves up and getting out of the community
6:46
yeah it’s definitely there are things that have in the works right now that
6:50
working on to know put together in the future and come to have come to fruition
6:55
so those are things that I talked about as we get closer to those days all not
7:00
your thing that this getting some attention and concern tiring of a
7:07
crucial part of training camp possibility for your destruction
7:10
now I’ll see is a distraction I think it’s something that can unify this team
7:15
is something that can unify this country if we have these real conversations that
7:19
uncomfortable for a lot of people if we have these conversations there’s a
7:25
better understanding for both sides are coming from and if we reach common
7:28
ground and can understand what everybody’s going through we can really
7:32
affect change make sure that everybody’s free treated equally
7:36
it has the same three on the phone with your body said something down and you
7:43
can clearly you’re speaking your mind right now it doesn’t seem that anyone’s
7:46
tried to
7:47
the organization is trying to acquire you know no one’s trying to quiet me and
7:53
not to be honest it’s not something I’m going to be by the time speak the truth
7:57
when i’m asked about it it’s not this isn’t for look is it for publicity or
8:02
anything like that
8:03
this is where people that don’t have the boards and this is where people are
8:07
being oppressed and need to have equal opportunities know to be successful to
8:12
provide for their families and not leave it for circumstances in your mind you
8:20
can pull it up and just sad every time
8:25
yes multiple times I mean I’ve had times where women are roommates was moving out
8:30
of the house in college and because we were the only black people in their
8:35
neighborhood the cops got called in all of us had guns drawn
8:40
I mean came in the house without knocking going strong i’m letting my
8:45
teammates and roommates so i have experienced people close to me have
8:51
experienced this isn’t something that a one-off case here are going off case
8:56
there it’s gonna come habitual it’s become habit so it’s something that
9:01
needs to be addressed
9:06
your voice your form is taking this in having think I think there’s a lot of
9:17
consequences that come along with this there’s a lot of people that don’t want
9:23
to have this conversation
9:24
yeah you know they’re scared they might lose their job or they might not get the
9:29
endorsement they got might not be treated the same way and those are
9:34
things I’m prepared to handle and then some things that no other people might
9:38
not be ready for it’s just a matter of where you’re at in your life where your
9:43
minds at and at this point I’ve been blessed to be able to get this bar and
9:48
you know have the privilege of being an NFL and making the kind of money i make
9:55
it enjoy it looks really like that but i can’t look in the beer and see other
10:00
people died on the street and should have the same opportunities that I’ve
10:04
had and say you know what I can live with myself because i can if i just
10:08
watched you might get I don’t know but if I do I’m gonna love it was right and
10:15
I can live with that that is any of this reflective you
10:19
minors with you is a partner now this is about the way people have been treated
10:26
by the special pretty aggressive and pull those kind of tone it seemed like
10:34
you were able person i know it was a conversation and ask me talking just
10:43
explain why it would I did and watched all the way up and that’s um I have
10:49
helped me conversation with its all the blinds up that way and i looked at
10:53
things the way I do and a lot of it has to do with the history of the country
10:57
and we’re currently at and not like I opened it up to almighty mix come talk
11:03
to me if you have any questions if you want to understand what I’m thinking
11:06
versus talk to me this isn’t something that should be hitting and shouldn’t be
11:13
talking about these compositions leave happened i think it’s something that
11:16
could bring everybody close your eyes and voice their popular get word you
11:25
know I had people say no I want to understand further let’s talk so I’ve
11:33
had those conversations movement will continue to happen with my teammates but
11:37
something that knowledge of what’s happening in this country as currently
11:41
happening is something that I think everybody needs to know and what you got
11:47
the knowledge of those things then you can make an educated decision on you
11:51
know what you really feel what you want sample
11:55
strike people outside the sports world exports into this i had a few people
12:04
reach out and fight for you actually saying you know whether support you
12:09
about you for taking that stand respect what you’re doing
12:13
we know a lot going to come with it but we’re behind you and you know that means
12:17
a lot that means that i’m not the only one that feels this way and I’m not only
12:21
one sec just super series is talking today about this
12:28
we’re talking about now focus on football longer meetings while running
12:34
up feel that’s what our focus is but in our free time we have conversations
12:40
about this and that’s not something that should be we should be ashamed about or
12:45
shy away from now we talk about football we have our business there but there’s
12:49
also you know social responsibility that we have to be educated on these things
12:54
and talk about these days consider bringing forming an alliance in teenage
13:00
to join this and if not why did you decide to go along this isn’t something
13:06
I’m gonna ask other people to you know put their necks out for without you if
13:13
they agree with me and feel strongly about it tomorrow means i hope they
13:17
stand with me but I’m not gonna go and try to recruit people make sure like a
13:23
come to this with me because I know the consequences that come with that and
13:28
then you make that decision for themselves actually
13:31
because you reach out to anyone before my senior counsel say anything about
13:35
this is the conversation I have a lot of people a lot of times over a long period
13:41
of time so it wasn’t something dead
13:45
no I planned on having a conversation about a particular time it just so
13:51
happened the other night that people realize it and talked about it
13:55
yeah for people you know why you’re doing this you want to bring voice to
14:06
the component raise consciousness about certain issues are you concerned so much
14:11
to talk with 24 hours getting about you and not necessarily the issues are you
14:17
concerned that i do think that you know it’s talk has been more about me more
14:25
about i know a lot of people’s individual reactions thought it was
14:29
passing the military but you wasn’t that wasn’t my intention at all i think now
14:34
that we have those things cleared up we can get to the root of what i was saying
14:38
and really address those issues since you’ve done this other you know other
14:43
players feel the same is maybe not ready to step over once you find a lot of
14:51
players who were kind of feeling the unit but are afraid to really step over
14:57
you know yeah I know there’s other players and people saying is that blaze
15:01
reach out to me i know most again it’s not something I’m going to ask them to
15:06
put their next out onto the consequences that come along with my decision and if
15:13
they feel strongly about it was standing with me then I hope they do if it’s
15:17
something they’re not ready for
15:18
no that’s what the conversations are for
15:20
they can make that decision know when they’re ready or if they’re gonna go
15:24
straight to completely safe and some of the world’s cities that you go to and
15:28
will you take something that’s the reason I not really too concerned about
15:34
that
15:35
no the end of the day if something happens that’s only for them up . yeah
15:43
testing experience public stance talking to practice someone you consulted with
15:49
signs I I mean once again it wasn’t something i consulted anybody on there
15:57
was a conversation i had with someone asked me to body after and was your
16:02
friend someone not talk to a lot around a lot of things behind have a lot of
16:06
conversations with and we have a lot of similar views anything to do with timing
16:18
once again it wasn’t I’m anything it wasn’t something that was planned but i
16:23
think the two presidential candidates that we currently have also represent
16:27
the issue that we have in this country right now
16:33
ok you have Hillary who’s called black teens or black kids super-predators you
16:41
have downtown who’s openly races
16:43
I mean we have a presidential candidate who needed emails and then things
16:50
illegally and it’s a presidential candidate
16:54
yeah that doesn’t make system is that there was any other person you’d be in
16:59
prison so what is this country really standing for his country that
17:06
the black men twice on me
17:10
you see people say why the outrage in a country that has elected a black
17:14
president has done many things that is a lot of things it has a liquid black
17:20
president but there are also things a lot of things that have changed
17:24
there are a lot of issues and still haven’t been addressed and no that’s
17:29
something over eight-year term there’s a lot of those things are hard to change
17:33
and there’s a lot of those things that he doesn’t necessarily have complete
17:36
control of what will be a success for you you just a short
17:43
no that’s that’s a tough question because there’s a lot of things that
17:46
need to change a lot of different issues that need to be addressed
17:50
no that’s so good that it is really hard to lock down one specific thing that
17:56
needs to change currently good cosmetologist you’re very special to see
18:06
and is amazing to me that she has more training and officers are supposed to be
18:10
protecting people
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