On Aug. 26, it seemed like the world noticed that San Francisco 49ers Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, was doing something rather strange during the National Anthem – he was sitting down.
The seemingly disrespectful move rubbed a lot of American football watchers the wrong way, especially after Colin revealed the reason why he chose to sit down during the National Anthem. He told the NFL in an exclusive interview after his game with the Green Bay Packers,
“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.”
What started as a simple act of silent protest for marginalized citizens quickly turned into a buffet of hate from many people on and off social media. But the social media hate is what’s hardest too ignore.
Twitter is not the only place where Colin has received hate. Tomi Lahren,
professional motor mouth conservative nut hugger political pundit for The Blaze had a lot to say about Colin’s actions, and she didn’t cut any corners with her words. I personally thought that her response was the most hateful.
“Colin, if this country disgusts you so much, leave,” Tomi said. “I guarantee there are thousands and thousands of people around the world who would gladly take your spot.” She continued,
“It’s funny — through that six-year career of yours, you choose to start sitting now? What changed to make you so resentful of your country? When will those in black communities take a step back and take some responsi-damn-bility for the problems in black communities. Because it seems to me, blaming white people for all your problems might make you the racist.”
As you can see, Tomi came out of her commentary with a fist full of white tears flying at 100 miles per hour. The pure vitriol and hate that she spewed on camera made me feel embarrassed for her. Surely she can’t be so arrogant as to think that a man sitting during the National Anthem is more shameful than police officers killing unarmed people, and essentially getting away with their crimes, right?
But apparently, she believes it wholeheartedly. As a veteran, this sort of thinking makes me sick to my stomach.
When I served, our crew was given a strict set of rules of engagement that we were not allowed to ignore without the threat of going to prison in Ft. Leavenworth. To see police officers who are getting away with not having those same rules of engagement, or ignoring them if they do have them, while also getting paid leave after killing unarmed people, is deplorable. To me, it’s a spit in the faces of service members doing double duty as police officers, especially those who are working hard to regain the public’s trust. If anything, they are a prime example of the people who Colin is standing up for.
While some veterans seem to get what Colin’s silent protest actually means – thanks in part to the #VeteransForKaepernick hashtag – others think that he’s being a dick wad. That’s unfortunate, because the culture of police brutality against unarmed citizens will never change if all of us, no matter what background we come from, doesn’t take a stand against it.
Obviously everyone doesn’t feel the way I do about the subject. So here are some Tweets that rejects Colin’s non-violent stance, which in turn proves that the moments he used to make a statement was needed.
David, you’re making it seem like Kaepernick was wearing a shirt with Castro posing in an Olan Mills/high school senior kind of style.
The image above is actually what Colin was wearing on his shirt. This historic meeting happened in September 1960, when Malcolm X met with Fidel Castro to discuss the topic of suffering, and what that meant to both of them as men.
Historians alluded that the two men didn’t get much accomplished during the meeting. But if a dictator can sit down with a black leader to discuss hard topics, then there’s no excuse for anyone else.
So far, I don’t see many politicians breaking down doors to have this discussion with current black leaders. Hell, I don’t see many people even attempting to talk to Senator Corey Booker about police brutality, and white people love him.
Maybe we should start with washing your funky mouth out with black soap. Then after that, we should start the conversation with professional athletes, like Aaron Hernandez and Ben Roethlisberger, not raping or killing anyone to begin with.
So basically you’re only paying attention to social messages given by celebrities? I certainly hope not. But either way, it proves Colin’s point: no one paied attention to the millions of people outcrying the same shared experiences until Colin – among other people – said something about it.
If it takes a famous football player to tell you that you should pay attention to social injustice, then you are actually the problem, Matt.
Not this again…
His ancestors tried that method, but it didn’t go over very well. The 200 + years of stripping our culture and language, combined with the rape, molestation, and genocide of our people, made for an awkward meeting back in the motherland.
On top of that, a lot of people who did return to Africa died from disease. So there’s that.
I hope your point wasn’t to illustrate that Colin should’t pretend to be the authority figure on oppression, because that isn’t what he was doing at all. What he was doing was standing up for something he believes in.
It’s sort of like how millions of Twitter users are standing up for what they believe in when they say that Colin is stupid for sitting down during the National Anthem, while calling him a nigger in the same breath.
What Colin did wasn’t anti-military, Tyler. What’s anti-military is lawless cops not being properly reprimanded for shooting unarmed citizens, while parading around protests like bootleg G.I. Joes. I’m just saying that if cops are going to strap up like military forces, then they need to play by the same rules.
So just because Colin has money means that he isn’t allowed to speak up for the millions of people who keep telling folks that we are having shared experiences with oppression? If you’re not listening to Colin when he says that people of color are being oppressed, then you damn sure won’t listen to anyone else who says it.
Truthfully, anything Colin did or said on the subject would have been met with criticism. There are a lot of people who believe that a man’s worth shouldn’t go beyond the scope of his job, particularly if he makes a shitload of money. It’s crap.
If anything, we need to start taking more super rich athletes to task. No one is outraged that years after his rape accusations, Ben Roethlisberger has yet to make public what he’s done to help men and boys change rape culture, or what he’s done to help rape victims recover from their trauma. Even if he didn’t rape anyone, I would like to believe that maintaining his image as a man of integrity would be important enough for Roethlisberger to make a donation to a cause that’s bigger than himself, and make it public.
Michael Vick worked with the Humane Society to end dog fighting, and made it public. Roethlisberger could have done something similar.
I can appreciate what you said, Miss Heidi (by the way, I’m from the South, and we use Miss before every grown woman’s name). We moms can be protective of our sons, so I get where you’re coming from.
It must be hard to watch your kid do something you’re not cool with. But that’s part of the spoils of motherhood – we spend our lives protecting our kids, and they go and do something shocking to fuck it up.
But it’s also part of manhood. It’s not up to us to like how they go about coming into their own as men. It’s up to Colin. If he thinks what he’s doing is right, the only thing we can do as mothers is watch, and then be there for them when they need us.
It’s a tough life for us moms.
Does anyone really care about what the 49ers are doing on September 11th, or on any other day of the week, Matt?
Actually, I’m okay with that, John. Seems like a happy medium to me.