Quarterback Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers has been all over the news the last 24 hours, and not in a good way.
Kaepernick made the decision to not stand for the National Anthem, claiming that he could not support a country that so systemically oppressed people of color (ignoring the fact that Kaepernick, himself a person of color, signed a $128 million dollar contract to sit on the bench).
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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.”
The folks over at the Independent Journal Review decided to ask an Army Ranger for his thoughts on what Kaepernick had to say, and boy did Iraqi War veteran Dorian Majied have a lot to say. Majied didn’t necessarily disagree with what Kaepernick was saying, so much as he did not like the method Kaepernick used.
“I understand Kaepernick’s intention, however I disagree with his means. His NBA counterparts protested the same ideas in a way that neither hurt the country, nor ignored the ideals that people of color have fought and died which; ideals represented by the symbolism of the American Flag and words of the National Anthem.
As a member of a national organization, reaping the benefits of a country that apparently oppresses people who look like him, his argument is thin on a personal level.
Doing what Dwayne Wade and company did at a game opener to support BLM, or making a public verbal statement as Carmelo Anthony did, or even a written statement as Michael Jordan did are all more appropriate acts of protest.
He could write his congressman, he could petition, he could picket, he could join the service and actually fight for the rights he seems to think are not offered to him; his sitting through the National Anthem was a lazy lack of will and brain power.”
He went on, adding that Kaepernick was acting well within his rights while ignoring the legitimate progress America has made.
“To refuse to stand for the National Anthem is his right as an American, and I support that right, however I do not agree with that action.
There are a myriad of other ways to conduct social protest for people of color, that don’t, whether by intent or otherwise, ignore the American principles that have given rise to extreme integration within a single American generation.
My father was born without the right to vote and in one generation I’ve been blessed to lead amongst the world’s greatest fighting force.”
He finished by calling out Kaepernick for disrespecting America and the actual sacrifices many people of color have made in service to this country.
“To disrespect the country that has afforded him the opportunities and fortunes he acquired is only made more offensive by the fact that his life is the personification of the ideals I see in the American flag and National Anthem: a biracial child, raised by white parents, and who has accomplished much despite his “oppression.” In how many more nations around the world can a story like that come to fruition?
He made valid points, I’m not ignoring that there are still issues with race in America. However, he is ignoring the positive ideals of America that every colored person who has ever served, fought–while some died–for, by refusing to stand. Proper action is exactly that, action, not the inaction of not standing because he couldn’t think of a better way to protest.”
Next time Kaepernick wants to talk about social issues, maybe he can find a more respectful way to do it that does not make him look like a disrespectful tool.