Editorial Cartoon

Kaepernick’s National Anthem protest – it’s about saving his career not sparking a national debate on socio-economics

by Buck Clay Aug 30, 2016
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From the outhouse to the White House, everyone appears to have a staunch opinion about 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his choice to not stand for the National Anthem. Is there any real meaning to this or are we simply stuck in another outrage news-cycle?

  • Despite the rumors, Kaepernick did not target the military but paid respects. “I have great respect for the men and women that have fought for this country,” said Kaepernick. “I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. And they fight for freedom, they fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice, for everyone.”
  • He has also not converted to Islam.
  • Colin Kaepernick is not breaking any new ground. NBA guard Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, AKA Chris Jackson stretched through the National anthem throughout the 1995-96 season. Recently, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas was criticized for not placing her hand over her heart during the National Anthem, although it was not a concerted effort, and she later apologized.
  • His protest is based on this statement by Kaepernick, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,”
  • NFL official player rules clearly list, that players are encouraged to stand for the anthem but don’t have to.
  • The White House released a statement on the 29th of August, which cited that Mr. Kaepernick is ‘entitled’ to not stand for the National Anthem.
  • Via NFL.com, the 49ers, on the situation, stated, “We recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”
  • Kaepernick has announced that he plans to continue to sit-out the National Anthem, for as long as he feels “it is appropriate.”
  • The antics of Kaepernick are in-line with the First Amendment. Yet, there is little-biased support for his ability to exercise his right, but to also support the right of others to disagree with his opinion.
  • In the midst of this race-baiting and intelligence insulting fiasco, a few insights have come to light on Colin Kaepernick. The adopted son of wealthy white parents, the biological son of a white woman and a black man, and his oppressed upbringing, society, and struggle has only awarded him with $114 million, plus endorsements

I understand why people are upset, and that is what also amazes me. Accusations are flying and in the midst of this, people are shouting to incite further protests and violence. On one hand, we are still treating an economic class and idealization of happiness issue as a race issue, inequality is based on income and influences perception. A calculus proof clearly demonstrates that wealth, in the pursuit of happiness, influences the balance of the golden mean. Although, nobody wants to hear that. There’s no shock value, and there is thinking involved. To the other hand, we have backward outrage, where people should not have really paid much mind in the first place. Especially in the veteran community, which read this as, “I fought for his right to not stand, but f*ck him for not standing.”  The hypocrisy continues with, “How dare he exercise a right in a country that gave him that right.”

Despite it all and the slanted opinions, there is one thing everyone seems to be forgetting, and that’s the freedom of America. On this entire situation, and in a rare personal occurrence, I’m going to have to side with the White House. White House spokesman, Josh Earnest laid it down like this, “I certainly don’t share the views that Mr. Kaepernick expressed after the game,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “But we surely all acknowledge and even defend his right to express those views.” Which argument, I’ll contend is different than Michael Phelps dipping the American flag on the world stage. Nevertheless, I’m reminded of a principle I’ve always taken to heart as to what it means to be an American, and especially a soldier. There is an Evelyn Beatrice Hall quote that is often confused for Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” As for Voltaire who remains relevant in this article, “Think for yourselves, and allow others the privilege to do so, too.”

Kaepernick not standing has very little to do with the act, yet a lot to do with his standing within the NFL,

A calculated play on behalf of his career is what happened, regardless of the hype and hoopla. Three years ago, Colin Kaepernick was a rising star of the NFL, but since then his career has fallen off and his professionalism on and off the field has been questioned by his peers and his coaches.

Untitled
Via NFL.com

 

 

Colin Kaepernick has been overshadowed, and subsequently replaced by the once laughable, Blane Gabbert in the starting lineup of the 49ers. Although, Colin Kaepernick is still bound to a six-year contract and is collecting paychecks for around $19 million, annually while the 49ers wait for the clock to run out on his contract. This is who Colin Kaepernick is, and he is not motivated on the principles of a cause. He is also most definitely no Antonio Brown, Cam Newton, or Russel Wilson whose act in such a matter would have been an act a bravery and defiance, yet we’ve been delivered a failure who is taking wild swings in an effort to save his career – and people are eating it up. Yet, where were they when Carmelo Anthony, the Captain of USA Basketball, told black athletes to take a stand on social issues.

Kaepernick was already sidelined and heading out, and this move will make him appear that he was fired for this protest and not for his subpar performance on the fields of the NFL. In fact, Kaepernick sat on the bench during the National Anthem, just like he was slotted to when the 49ers offense took to the field.

Now, Kaepernick is desperately clinging onto his fading NFL stardom with an obvious attention grab in an effort to bring his name back into the limelight. Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick, prior to his recent protest has not been cited in support of any such feelings or beliefs prior to this event, which so happens to correspond with his dwindling career. Although, he may have previously believed in his protest and action, but had kept quiet. An act that is not selfless, but selfish as he felt that his career was more important at the time. That’s not heroic.

The reality of the situation is that the 28-year-old who led the 49ers to their first Super Bowl (XLVII), in 18 years has been struggling to keep his job. Accompanying his downturn is this media play, and corresponding with Colin Kaepernick’s act, are his social media posts. That have recently shifted to political statements, black lives matters and political retweets.

The question now is how the NFL will diffuse this media sensitive situation.

By not standing for the National Anthem you’re saying “I see the problem, but I don’t want to be part of the solution.”

Colin Kaepernick's Instagram shows he is passionate about charity work for at risk minorities. (It doesn't.)
Via Instagram

A matter that is not helped when you’re entirely hypocritical, as per Colin Kaepernick’s charity work via his Instagram feed (right). Colin Kaepernick’s Instagram does not reflect that he is passionate about charity work for at-risk minorities.

When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose to sit out the National Anthem, during a pre-season game, and loss, against the Green Bay Packers. His explanation for refusing to stand, at two games was loaded with fallacies, hot-button issues, and race-baiting with the purpose of inciting without evidence. A happenstance that has become the standard operating procedure for any 21st-century social crusader in action.

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.”

 

Kaepernick also brought up that he did not request permission from the 49ers or the National Football League to stage his protest. “This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.” A point that has more to do with this last-ditch effort to save face on the downswing of his failing NFL career, but most folks are blaming race relations in America and refusing to look at the real motivating factors, which do not correspond with his sudden passion for a cause.

In multiple interviews, Kaepernick anticipates that he will be cut. A fact that he was anticipating before this powerplay-protest, where he is now using intrigue as a segue for publicly perceived discrimination as an ace-in-the-hole to cover his poor performance on the field. In fact, he has been so emboldened to state, “if something happens that’s only proving my point.”

Like a professional politician, he then changed the subject and lunged at the candidates, Clinton and Trump.

You have Hillary who has called black teens or black kids super predators, you have Donald Trump who’s openly racist. We have a presidential candidate who has deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate. That doesn’t make sense to me because if that was any other person you’d be in prison. So, what is this country really standing for?”

For his next spin, he took a swing at police brutality that, he alleges as specifically targeting minorities, and only black minorities. . . . While the data clearly demonstrates otherwise, it is unpopular not to interpret the data in support of Kaepernick’s’ statement. You’re supposed to omit data and frame the narrative like the Post was busted out for.

Nevertheless, we’ll continue down outrage alley, because that’s what the people want, and on the police, Kaepernick has this to say.

Editorial Cartoon courtesy of Robert L. Lang

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About Buck Clay

is an American. He served eleven years for God and Country with the illustrious Airborne Combat Engineers and dedicated four of those years traveling to wonderful faraway lands where he dug around in the dirt looking for bombs. After much soul searching, he decided to return to academia. There he obtained two additional university degrees, and he is now pursuing a fourth - because university is fun. Currently, he travels around quite a bit, and finds comfort on sunny desert mountaintops and seaside resorts where people try to kill him.

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