t seems the actions of star athletes off the field has overshadowed the action on it during the past week. So I reckon we better turn our attention there so we can get back to the fun stuff next week.
There is no bigger story in the sports world right now than San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his refusal to stand for the national anthem during preseason games thus far. In case you have somehow missed out on this, which doesnâ€™t seem possible honestly, Kaepernick is protesting the treatment of â€œblack people and people of colorâ€ by not standing when the anthem is played before the 49ersâ€™ games.
As is typically the case when something like this happens, the world has gone crazy because of Kaepernickâ€™s action. People have burned his jersey and even more people have told him to leave the country. The groundswell of anger towards him is making the internet and my Facebook feed very ugly places in the process.
My first thought when all this boiled up was, â€œColin Kaepernick is still in the NFL? And he still plays for San Francisco?â€ All kidding aside, this is not a political column, so Iâ€™m not interested in adding fuel to this fire, but I do believe Kaepernick has the right to stand, or not stand, during the anthem, just like any other American. So, if he wants to protest, let him protest. Those people who decided to burn up the jerseys they spent their hard-earned money on arenâ€™t doing anything other than wasting that money, in my opinion. Of course it doesnâ€™t hurt that Kaepernick is no longer viewed as a good NFL player and is probably on his way out of San Francisco anyway. Eventually I suspect all of the hubbub will die down and people will go on with their lives and very little will have changed.
Next up is American soccer player Hope Solo who was recently banished from the national team because of the things she said following the Olympic loss to the Swedes. Solo, who has had a great, but turbulent career, was suspended without pay for six months from the U.S. Soccer team and the banishment did not make her, or her supporters happy.
First off, I get why sheâ€™s upset. Going on a rant about an opponent who beat you fair and square seems petty and casts one as a sore loser, but is it really cause to be suspended from the team? On itâ€™s own, you have to say no. But this is hardly the only incident that Solo has been involved in. She fights with her family members, she fights with her husband, she is in the car when that same husband gets a DUI.
Ultimately I think the national team got tired of her and saw this as a way to get away from her, permanently. I have read some people call the banishment sexist. They argued that a man would not have suffered a similar punishment. But I donâ€™t believe that. Anyone with as bad of a record as Solo is just one incident away from a significant punishment. Unfortunately for Solo, that incident was her post-Olympic statement.
Finally, and I shall be brief here, a little more Ryan Lochte. The Olympic swimmer has been hit pretty hard in the press for his drunken escapade in Brazil. Unfortunately for Lochte, he made up a story that really bothered the host country, which was trying very hard not to look bad on the world stage. You could easily argue nothing he did was really that big a deal and I could agree with you. But, again, he did it where the host country was trying very hard not to have anything untowardÂ happen.
I think the best part of this whole story is that Lochte is headed to â€œDancing With the Starsâ€ to rehabilitate his reputation. Or maybe itâ€™s just because he loves to dance. Or, more than likely, it is because he loves the spotlight, which is what got him in trouble in the first place.