Colin Kaepernick screenshot

Colin Kaepernick is an NFL millionaire who has been rooted on for years by stadiums filled with Americans of all colors. He was adopted by family that obviously instilled in him the kind of work ethic it takes to break into professional sports. Despite living in the freest nation the world has ever produced (while pulling in $19 million per year), he now says he cannot stand for the national anthem because America “oppresses black people and people of color.”

The NFL released his statement on Saturday after news of his decision spread:

“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.”

Yes, that’s right, because America isn’t perfect Mr. Kaepernick says he cannot show pride in the American flag. Someone should ask the formerly productive quarterback if he can name one country on earth where everyone acts like angels and there are no skeletons in the closet. If he cannot name such a place, then he should be informed that he is an ignorant fool.

Yes, racial issues are “bigger than football,” but the universal principles the nation was founded upon are bigger than random incidents of racism in a nation of 350 million people.

The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution states:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Can anyone deny that millions of Americans strive every single day to achieve the goal of “a more prefect Union”? Countless men and women have died to secure liberty for future generations, and yet the Colin Kaepernicks of the world think it is all diminished because some individuals fall short of our highest ideals.
Colin Kaepernick sits national anthem

Colin Kaepernick should be ashamed of himself for using the flag to exploit his own political activism — while simultaneously putting the organization he works for and his teammates in a horrible bind. What makes the situation worse is that if the team decides to let him go because of his poor performance on the field, then he will conveniently say it was done for racial reasons.

Look at the picture of the San Francisco 49er’s entire team — white, black, asian, and hispanic men and women from all across the U.S. — and then look at the one goof sitting down by himself — benched — in between two jugs of Gatorade. Their behavior should tell the quarterback that the national anthem transcends the contemporary obstacles we face, but for whatever reason the message does not sink in.

Mr. Kaepernick may be exercising his right to free speech, but he is not a leader. He is a selfish man who took attention away from his team’s primary mission — to win on the football field — and focused it all on his political frustrations. If I were a fan of the San Francisco 49ers, there is no way I would be rooting for the guy.

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About the Author Douglas Ernst

I'm a former Army guy who believes success comes through hard work, honesty, optimism, and perseverance. I believe seeing yourself as a victim creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. I believe in God. I'm a USC Trojan with an MA in Political Science from American University.

20 comments

  1. He’s a spoiled punk, but he has the right to be one. He’s not asking to be a leader. However, I do blame the 49’ers for not finding someone of a better moral character to actually lead them, and for not suspending him outright.

    1. When he accepted the role of quarterback, he most certainly accepted a leadership role. I’m not sure how anyone can argue otherwise. If he were a field goal kicker then you might have a case…

  2. Amen! What a jerk. Can we deport him? Maybe he can find another country that has done better to provide peace and prosperity to the largest number of people? Considering the sheer number of people in our country and the vast diversity of race, backgrounds, and beliefs, we’ve done an amazing job.

    All in good fun, but I sometimes like to point to British history for some much needed perspective. Those guys knew all about colonialism, imperialism, they practically invented it. They would invade a country, enslave the people, and harvest all the resources. America is one of the few places on earth where our wars actually cost us money. That’s because we’re always rebuilding the country, handling refugees, protecting and defending someone else’s resources.

    As to people getting shot, sometimes that is unjustified, unprovoked, but on the other hand there is still justice for such things. That’s not something to ever take for granted either, because in many area, the state can just come in and shoot you and you simply join the list of disappeared. In America at least people still have the means and the willingness to care about your individual rights.

    1. The other part is that in most of these ‘gentle giant’ shootings, it turns out the guy was a thug who WAS doing wrong but that is always printed on page 1000 below the fold. This is tragic, because true victims of governmental abuse rarely get justice from a media and culture that ignores them in favor of the shinier bauble.

    2. That is very true. Our culture of perpetual victimization and mediated reality really ticks me off sometimes, because genuine victims get lost in the shuffle of so many people crying wolf.

    3. “The other part is that in most of these ‘gentle giant’ shootings, it turns out the guy was a thug who WAS doing wrong but that is always printed on page 1000 below the fold.”

      Take the Milwaukee riots, for example. The community looted and burned its own businesses to the ground for a guy with a long arrest record, who fled in a stolen vehicle. The dude was armed and ignored the cops’ orders. Is this really the type of person BLM wants to create a movement around? The same goes for Baltimore.

      What adds another weird element to all of this is that some of the cops involved in these shootings aren’t even white. If white, black, hispanic, and asian cops all seem to be having dicey encounters with young black men from urban areas, then Magic 8 Ball tells me the root of the problem does not lie with the cops.

    4. “Considering the sheer number of people in our country and the vast diversity of race, backgrounds, and beliefs, we’ve done an amazing job.”

      This fact is regularly overlooked. Often times America will be compared to nations that are incredibly homogenous in terms of race, ethnicity, etc. It is rather amazing that we have been “united” for this long. Much of the problem comes from academics, who actively push against the idea that America is a melting pot in favor of some stupid “salad” metaphor. Educators are attempting to create the “Balkanized States of American” instead of the United States of America, and they are succeeding.

  3. If anyone expects anything from, the issue is them. He isn’t a hero, a role model or anything even close to a decent guy. He is simply a spoiled man-child who is paid to play a game that he happens to excel at. The significance of this is ONLY because we, as a nation, have a twisted view of what and whom we should emulate. Let him do his thing, I’ll continue thinking the 49ers are a crap team and largely ignoring the NFL except for the Super Bowl Commercials which I will watch online anyway. Bring on the rugby matches!

    1. Hell, we should out playing Rugby! There’s a real sport. a year playing in the scrum in a Marine team taught me everything I needed to know about what a tough sport is…hint: it’s not american football. But honestly, it wasn’t as tough as wrestling either,..

    2. “Hell, we should out playing Rugby! There’s a real sport. a year playing in the scrum in a Marine team taught me everything I needed to know about what a tough sport is…hint: it’s not american football.”

      I have a good buddy who is really into Rugby. The more highlights I watch, the more I kind of wish I grew up with that as my favorite sport. It is definitely the tougher sport.

      I have a feeling that if we fast forward in time, NFL players will be running around in little inflatable suits and fans will be encouraged to download an app with all 100,000 rules.

    3. “If anyone expects anything from, the issue is them. He isn’t a hero, a role model or anything even close to a decent guy.”

      On many levels I agree with you, but the problem is that somewhere along the line the NFL became a pseudo-religion. For better or worse, sports stars are idolized by millions of little kids. Under normal circumstances I would never give a guy like Kaepernick the time of day, but football is a cultural juggernaut in the U.S.

      If this guy wants to start using his very large megaphone to dump on the country, then I hope 49ers fans boo him at every opportunity.

  4. I propose a trade. Usain Bolt…who’s pretty much a crap boyfriend…for Colin.

    It’s the automatics that matter to me: Usain Bolt stopped an interview because he heard our national anthem come on. He may not have a lot of self control, but when he hears a national anthem, he automatically pauses out of respect for the people of our country. Its near instinctual.

    Colin is different…he’s going to think about it. And he thought about it before gameday…something like, “I’m gonna make a statement, and the world is going to see how I feel, and my feelings are going to take center stage during the anthem, and all these people that think their stupid hate-filled country is so great is gonna get a big slap in the face, cause I ain’t gonna stand. I’ll show all these white a-holes in the stands, I’m gonna make a difference! Then I’m going to throw this ball around for 3 hours for their entertainment”

    You can see the difference here”

    Usain: “I like America!” (and probably ‘hot american chicks’)

    Colin: “look at me! I’m special! I care about other people! I’m making a difference! I’m not selfish! I don’t use I!!!!”

    Let’s make that trade happen!

  5. “What makes the situation worse is that if the team decides to let him go because of his poor performance on the field, then he will conveniently say it was done for racial reasons.”

    Which may be what this is really all about. I doubt if Colin Kaepernick would bother to spit on Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, or Michael Brown if they were on fire. His “activism” is an insurance policy. Or a smokescreen. He has spent more time on the bench than on the field. But now they will be afraid to fire him, because he can accuse them of violating his right to free speech, blah blah blah.

    (BTW, it is not a “freedom of speech” issue. The Bill of Rights is a set of restrictions on the government. The First Amendment protects you from being prosecuted for dissent, or for expressing an unpopular opinion. A private employer can fire employees for violating rules, including speech codes.)

    Colin is just another spoiled brat who was a BMOC in high school and college, where he was the big fish in a relatively small pond. But, like a lot of school athletes, he just wasn’t really qualified for the pros.

  6. People have

    died for this flag to set blacks free people have died for this flag for all races to have a life of freedom if you do not like to have this freedom that gave you all the money you have now leave and go live in a place like north korea and see how much freedom you will get there

    1. Never ceases to amaze me, people blame whites for the history of slavery and forgot that those are the same ones who bled by the thousands died fighting to right that cosmic injustice. Can we finally get credit for that too?

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