Colin Kaepernick started his national anthem protest as a way to draw attention to social injustice. It has just become a nation-wide analysis of his method of protest, which is unfortunate.
One of the NFL’s most recognizable players and one of the game’s greatest all-time quarterbacks, New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, and perhaps the greatest player in the history of the league, Jerry Rice, joined in being critical of Kaepernick’s way of bringing attention to how black people are treated in the United States.
“I disagree. I wholeheartedly disagree,” Brees told ESPN. “Not that he wants to speak out about a very important issue. No, he can speak out about a very important issue. But there’s plenty of other ways that you can do that in a peaceful manner that doesn’t involve being disrespectful to the American flag. … Like, it’s an oxymoron that you’re sitting down, disrespecting that flag that has given you the freedom to speak out.”
“All lives matter,” Rice tweeted. “So much going on in this world today. Can we all just get along! Colin, I respect your stance but don’t disrespect the Flag.”
Not all of the reaction to Kaepernick has been negative. Jim Brown, who is also one of the few reasonable choices as greatest NFL player ever, said he supported Kaepernick. Brown has been outspoken on social issues for decades.
“I listened to him and he makes all the sense in the world,” Brown said on NFL Network, via the Associated Press. “He’s within his rights and he’s telling the truth as he sees it and I am with him 100 percent.”
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who is as outspoken about social issues as any current player, made points on both sides of the issue.
“There is some depth and some truth to what he was doing,” Sherman said, via the AP. “I think he could have picked a better platform and a better way to do it, but every day they say athletes are so robotic and do everything by the book and then when somebody takes a stand like that, he gets his head chopped off.”
– – – – – – –