Ignore Kaepernick’s selfishness
Everyone is now aware, thanks to the ubiquitous media world in which we live, of the so-called “protest” action taken by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick who now refuses to stand with his team during the playing of the national anthem prior to each game (“Kaepernick and the inevitable intersection of sports, politics and the national anthem,” Aug. 30).
As his rationale, he said he refuses to “show pride in a country that oppresses people of color,” and that it would be “selfish on my part to look the other way.” Putting aside, for the moment, the fact that Mr. Kaepernick earns his high salary playing a professional sport in which the majority of very fortunate participants are people “of color,” the very nature of his act of protest is deserving of deeper examination. Just exactly what is he achieving through this act of defiance?
His action will do absolutely nothing to work toward a resolution of the problems he cites. What it will do, and has already done, is draw attention to him.
I would have more admiration for him if he made some sacrifice to act out his protest. Maybe he could refuse to take part in a national sport that is supported by the citizens of a country where evil deeds were perpetrated. But then that would harm Mr. Kaepernick in a tangible way. Or perhaps he could even devote a significant portion of his time, outside the limelight of the media, working at the street and neighborhood level toward a resolution to our problems, as so many others are doing.
We must allow individuals such as Mr. Kaepernick to denigrate our flag, our national anthem and our country while acting in their own selfish interests. The best counter would be for the media to simply ignore his self-serving actions, but in the current “if it bleeds it leads” environment that is impossible. Enjoy your 15 minutes, Colin.