by Richard Thompson
Colin Kaepernick, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, refused to stand for our national anthem at a pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers.Â He defended his lack of patriotism by explaining that he was â€œnot going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color.â€
It is outrageous that Mr. Kaepernick, earning over $114 Million per year, feels it necessary to demean the very nation that has allowed him to achieve his riches.
Granted, the U. S. Constitution protects his right to so foolishly demean our nation and flag.Â But, he should consider this: throughout our nationâ€™s history, men and women, White, Black, Brown and Yellow, have fought and died under our flag, and many have been buried under that flag. By his actions he demeans their sacrifices.
Today, men and women of all races are still fighting and placing themselves in harmâ€™s way for that flag and his right to speak out. Unlike Kaepernick, however, they make just a few thousand dollars per year.
Sports have always been a unifying force in our nation.Â Kaepernick has made it a time for dissenting.
Sports figures have always been role models for our young.Â Kaepernick is no role model.
Chalkboard lessons for Kaepernick
Marine Corps Sgt. Zachary Stinson, of Chambersburg, Pa., a double amputee, who lifted himself up to stand for the national anthem. Here is a man who is worthy of our admiration.
Or Army Reservist 2ndÂ Lieutenant Sam Kendricks, who stopped in the middle of the pole vault qualifying round at this summerâ€™s Olympics to stand at attention during the national anthem.
Usain Bolt, not even an American, stopped a reporter mid-interview shortly after winning another gold medal, to show his respect for the American national anthem.
Americans object to all kinds of government policies, whether it is Obama Care, the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, or the removal of crosses, Ten Commandments and Nativity displays from the public square.Â Yet, they still stand for the national anthem and our flag.
A few years ago, when the Law Center was representing a national Coalition of Black Pastors opposed to same-sex marriage, several of those pastors volunteered to me that they were not â€œAfrican- Americans,â€ they were Americans.
It is time we eliminate the concept of the hyphenated American.Â We are one peopleâ€” Americans.Â Of course, the race racketeers and some professional politicians have an objection to that concept.
Sports â€” like baseball and football â€” help us to find unity and common ground amongst ourselves when we look across and see not skin color, but another fan. Turning sports into a platform for more dissension and division is a slap in their face, but nothing that compares to the insult that Kaepernick delivered to the men and women in uniform.
Shame on you, Kaepernick.