The Land of the Free

One man's actions anger a faction

Billy Hurst

BenG, Staff Member

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Ah, America. The good ol’ U.S. of A. The red, white, and blue. The land of the free and the home of the brave… or is it? Some think Colin Kaepernick disagrees, as the America-hating, national anthem-despising sub par quarterback he is. Or is he?

In case I am spouting off nonsense to you, Colin Kaepernick is the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers football team, and on Friday the 26th, he chose not to stand during the traditional pregame playing of the Star Spangled Banner, causing outcry amongst both football players and fans alike. Kaepernick’s reasoning was his distaste for the way minorities, especially African-Americans, have been treated by the police. “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder,” Kaepernick said in a statement after the game. Quite a statement. Pray tell, what do some of his colleagues think?

“He can’t stand up for his people because he makes millions….so ignorant and narrow minded,” said Adrian Clayborn, defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons on Twitter.

Okay, well what would a more seasoned veteran of the industry have to say about this?

“Easy way to make sure you’re NOT the starting QB on opening day. #Sept11,” said Matthew Hasselbeck, analyst for Sunday Countdown on ESPN on Twitter.

Okay, so far, not a warm reception. Well, the opinions of the people your group of friends tackle for a living do not particularly matter. What about the team? What does the team itself have to say about Kaepernick’s protest?

“In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem,” said the 49ers in an official press release.

Hm. Interesting. So it seems we have got two different sides of an argument here. One side thinks that Kaepernick’s actions were ignorant and foolish, while the other seems to think that it is his personal freedom. So, you may be asking, what do I think? Well, America is a beautiful country. I do not of know another country that pulls people together and makes people cry when thought of the way America can. That does not mean the country is without flaws, though. We have a problem with police violence in this country, but in the wake of tragedy, like the recent flooding in Louisiana, hate and prejudice seem to disappear, because we are Americans, we stick together. So to those vehemently disagreeing with Kaepernick’s protest, good. Exercise your freedom of speech. Just like Kaepernick.

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