Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback who refused to stand for the National Anthem throughout the 2016 football season to bring attention to the oppression of people of color, has had a change of heart. Kaepernick’s protest will reportedly end at the beginning of the 2017 NFL season, when he says he will resume standing during the singing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
Sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Kaepernick doesn’t want to detract from progress he believes has been made and the awareness brought to the issue of social inequality. Of course, a closer look reveals a very different story: Kaepernick will opt out of his contract with the 49ers and become a free agent. A number of teams have already made it clear they won’t consider signing Kaepernick if he continues his protest. How convenient that when his job, and the money are on the line, Kaepernick decides to stand again.
Unfortunately, the damage from Kaepernick’s protest has already been done and can never be reversed. Specifically, he has:
1. Conveyed the message that all African-Americans are being lumped together and treated as common criminals, regardless of who they are.
2. Flagrantly stereotyped our nation’s police officers, 99.9 percent of whom are good people who put everything on the line for our safety and well-being. He even showed up to practices wearing anti-police officer socks with pigs on them.
3. Repeatedly disgraced the National Anthem, and worse, also did it on 9/11, a day that all Americans should hold close to their hearts.
4. Slapped our great military men and women in the face, many of whom have paid the ultimate price to give him his freedom.
5. Showed a pure lack of gratitude to a capitalistic system that has given him everything he has.
6. Been a terrible role model to our kids. Our youth are extremely impressionable and see their hero protesting the National Anthem, so without knowing better or questioning it, they follow suit. There were even some high school football teams that started protesting because of Punk Kaepernick.
7. Erroneously called his protest ‘Freedom of Speech.’ Of course, you are allowed freedom of speech in this country, but don’t disrespect your national anthem and everything it stands for. That’s shameful. Don’t disrespect your fans and employer. You want your freedom of speech? Go stand on the street corner on Monday morning and hold up a sign. There’s your freedom of speech.
Unfortunately, Colin Kaepernick didn’t suffer consequences during his dishonorable protest. 49er’s management didn’t step in. The NFL never did anything. He did become the most disliked player in the NFL according to a poll by E-Poll Market Research, but that probably won’t matter much now. Sadly, some other team is going to reward this clown with an even bigger contract.
I’m glad Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the National Anthem is over, but unfortunately, for all the wrong reasons. It’s time for him to grow up, apologize, get some real American pride or leave. He’s an embarrassment to football. He’s an embarrassment to the military and police. He’s an embarrassment to America.