The what isn’t the problem. The how is the problem.
Kneeling for the National Anthem is absolutely disgusting. What Colin Kaepernick started is frustrating to the people who truly have pride in the United States of America and what it has stood for.
Kaepernick says that he does it for the pride that he has in his country. And maybe he is. I can’t tell him that he isn’t, but what I can say is he is contradicting himself and is digging a deeper hole for the man in the mirror every time that he decides to kneel down.
By taking that knee, he is exercising his First Amendment rights, but he is also disrespecting the flag that is there to remind us of those rights. He is stepping over the symbol of the United States to exercise the right that makes America, America.
Furthermore, he is dishonoring the flag that gives him the right to voice his opinion about this topic. I am pretty sure we can agree that the star spangled banner deserves more than what Kaepernick is giving it.
When the protest debuted and Kaepernick met with reporters in August 2016, he said, “I’m going to continue to stand with the people that are being oppressed. To me, this is something that has to change. When there’s significant change and I feel that flag represents what it’s supposed to represent, and this country is representing people the way that it’s supposed to, I’ll stand.”
The flag doesn’t represent the people who you see on a daily basis. The flag and National Anthem represent, for one, the freedoms of American citizens, and then they represent the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for what America is about.
So, Kaepernick never has and never will accomplish anything valuable by kneeling every time that the National Anthem is played. He will just ruin his career and legacy more and more if he carries on with this.
Other athletes have found ways to draw attention to the issues in society that they want to speak out on without being this much of a distraction.
As Kaepernick was beginning to protest, Carolina Panther quarterback Cam Newton found a way to get his point across in a postgame press conference and spoke about the violence in North Carolina and throughout the country and ended it there.
A few months before then, in July, NBA players LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony took the spotlight at the ESPY Awards and took a few minutes to say what they had to say about race equality. That was the end of that.
Those other athletes have showed that you don’t have to disregard something important in order to get a point across.