Ig­nore Kaeper­nick’s self­ish­ness

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Jerry Cothran, Bal­ti­more

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.