Colin Kaepernick might be described as the poster child for the NFL’s flag protesters. He is a good football player, as his millions of dollars a year would indicate, but he appears lacking in the ingredients necessary to become an acknowledged public voice on issues. Of course, there are those who will hang on his every word for reasons I have difficulty fathoming.
He has the gift of a soapbox as an NFL player whether that has been shown to have been earned or simply came with the other gift of throwing a football. The ability to throw a football does not qualify one to opine verbally or visually by ignoring the flag which identifies this country and symbolizes the things for which we stand as a country. That goes for every other NFL player, too!
Freedom of speech is among the things our flag symbolizes. There is no doubt about that, and he does have that same freedom as do you or me. He has chosen to use that freedom to denigrate our country by the very act of refusing to acknowledge our flag and what that flag stands for as is customary before the start of NFL football games.
This seems part of the entire recent ‘Antifa’ garbage and its ilk although there are no truncheons being used and there is no teargas being inhaled. Words and actions have power than sticks and stones don’t have, and need be understood to have that power before they are uttered.
Toppling an old statue has a visual impact and can be replayed courtesy of television at will. The image of an NFL player refusing to participate in the pre-game ceremonies that have been a part of those games for many years also have an impact. The simple act of standing before a game is played is imbued with a certain reverence that is destroyed by a player kneeling while you and I are standing with hands over our heart. That act is the equivalent of a slap across the face, a slap in your face and my face since we continue to observe that ceremonial tribute to what our country stands for among all the countries of the world.
If we think of all people who would give nearly everything they have for that opportunity that is now being belittled by athletes who seem to have the idea they are thought-shapers, we can see the relative folly they engage in without apparently having a clue to what it is they demean. If they do know that they are demeaning our flag, and I cannot imagine they do not, then they are engaging in a much worse action. They are knowingly denigrating our freedom that was earned for us by untold numbers of patriots who gave their limbs and lives for our freedom.
Giving one’s all on a football field pales in comparison to giving one’s life on the battlefield. The very idea that a game transcends very real sacrifices in importance thus justifying this irrational behavior raises serious questions about those engaging in actions such as sitting or kneeling during the National Anthem. That is a childish action that simply cannot be tolerated by athletes who feel they need to make a statement.
Instead of kneeling, call a press conference and tell your story and express your thoughts during the week. You are very near the point of damaging the professional football league…and with it your ability to rake in millions of dollars. We likely will not respond well to advertisers using your image or your statements, either. They will no longer see value in paying you to be you. By then, unfortunately, your short-sightedness will be irreversible…and you will be the ultimate real losers in this entire debacle.
We who believe in paying respect to our flag and standing for the National Anthem will still be here, but you’ll have faded into the oblivion you seem to deserve with these childish actions.
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