This is a can of worms that I never thought that I would open.
In all seriousness though, Kaepernick has become one of the most controversial figures of this generation for his protest against racial injustice and police brutality. Granted the controversy stems more from the means of which he chose to protest, rather than the issue itself. At least, I chose to believe that that is the reason people are upset, and not that the people who are upset over the protest are actually for racial injustice and police brutality.
Regardless, I will never assume to know what is in someone's heart, so I'm going to leave that issue alone.
Back to the title of this article.
I was actually only partially inspired to write this article by the recent Nike ad. The Nike ad actually reminded me of something that I watched on YouTube this weekend and a few lines of dialogue from it. The video was made by YouTube channel called TeamFourStar, and the excerpt that helped inspire this article is:
"...but there you stand: the good man doing nothing. And while evil triumphs and your rigid pacifism crumbles into blood-stained dust, the only victory afforded to you is that you stuck true to your guns. You were a coward to your last whimper."
*TeamFourStar is one of my favorite YouTubers, and you can find the video that this excerpt is from here.
Now how does that relate to Kaepernick?
He could have done nothing, and let the problems he's fought against go on with far less effort being made to stop them.
Think about it.
Racial injustice and police brutality aren't new concepts, as they have existed far longer than we ever have as a nation. The fact is, however, that they have been trending downward in the age of social media because there is no more hiding. Now, anything that happens in the world today is covered by so many people at the very instant it happens.
Guys like Colin Kaepernick and Malcolm Jenkins of the Philadelphia Eagles have been big on activism and awareness over the past few years, even before the people started to be so upset over the protests.
No matter how you feel about his means of protest, you can't deny that Kaepernick's choice to be an activist cost him almost everything. He lost his job and became a social pariah in many circles because he chose to stand up, or rather kneel, for his beliefs.
Doing nothing would have been easy, falling in line would have been easy, but choosing to not defend his beliefs would have been the actions of a coward.
Being silent when the world needs you to speak is something a coward does. Laying down your arms when the world needs you to fight is something that a cowards.
I respect Kaepernick because he chose to not be a coward. "Evil" is triumphing around the world, but he chose to not be the good man doing nothing.
I also want to point out that this isn't just a Kaepernick thing though. I have respect for anyone willing to fight the right way for that is good and just. By the right way, I mean that his protest was a peaceful one, and he has personally meant no one ill will, to the point that he went from sitting during the anthem to kneeling because a Green Beret and fellow football player told him that he found sitting to be disrespectful.
To make a villain of a man who merely wants "liberty and justice for ALL" seems wrong. That phrase ends one of the most American things we do, so to say that he is not doing good, when he is literally working for an American ideal is a bit ridiculous.
You can disagree with my opinion. You can even hate me and my opinion. The fact is, I'd rather be hated for defending my beliefs than being loved as a coward.
If you can't honestly say the same, maybe it's time to look in the mirror and reevaluate your priorities. If you are willing to be "the good man who does nothing," then I hope you enjoy your "victory."