The country has more pressing issues than a quarterback's disrespect for the national anthem.
Colin Kaepernick refused to stand and place his hand over his heart during the national anthem. Whatever his reason, he certainly had the right to do so, and on that point I am firmly behind him.
What I can’t understand is why this is a major news story that won’t go away. Kaepernick was not the first to show a lack of respect for the country, the flag or the national anthem, and there are millions more out there doing it every day. If you have even been to a sporting event, you have seen fans stuffing hot dogs in their mouths, talking on their phones and all sorts of other activities, oblivious to the fact that the anthem is even being played.
You may argue that he is a role model for kids, but I would answer that parents should take the responsibility to advise their kids to be more selective when choosing a role model, relying on more than athletic prowess.
But outrage by some extremists have caused a nothing-happened-here moment to become a national movement, as athletes across the nation are sitting, kneeling, or otherwise failing to stand in reverence to the anthem. Again, many have been doing this for quite a while, but suddenly it has to be reported by every major news service and debated constantly.
I guess there is nothing important going on around the country and the world that we could be discussing, so the story continues to “have legs,” as the journalists say. The nation’s economy is not rebounding as it should, Obamacare is collapsing under its own weight, racial tension in the US is probably as high as it has been since the riots of the 60s and 70s, but we are all-consumed with the story of a man who disrespected the country.
It doesn’t matter if you agree with his motives. He believes them to be sincere, and whether you think he is right or wrong, you won’t convince him to change his mind, or the minds of many who agree with his stance.
I would argue that most of the country’s elected officials are showing a much greater disrespect for the principles and value on which the US was founded than a handful of over-paid athletes that have benefited from living in the very country they disrespect.
Disrespect for our country’s values and interests is being demonstrated every day by members of Congress, the nation’s courts and judicial system and even the highest office in the land. To me, that is much more disconcerting that what Colin Kaepernick is doing for three minutes a week.
If you want to boycott 49ers games in which Kaepernick plays, or boo and jeer him at the contests, I will stand with you, agreeing with your right to do so, as well as standing with Kaepernick for his right not to stand.
But let’s just move on. Nothing happened here.