So free speech, First Amendment rights, and it’s impact on Americans is by far one of my favorite things to talk about and I love discussing it. So when the story hit about San Francisco 49er’s Quarterback Colin Kaepernick remaining seated during the National Anthem, and then vowing to continue to do so saying “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” This kind of move is absolutely unprecedented in American sports and the story made national news headlines this week. While I may not agree with Mr. Kaepernick’s decision to remain seated during the National Anthem, I will defend to the death his right to do so.
If you follow me, or know of my work, you may know that I have written previous articles about the exercise of free speech and I challenged more progressive, leftist students to respect the opinions and views of those on the right instead of dragging their names through the dirt and silencing them. I urged the left not to buy into the whole “triggering” phenomenon sweeping the nation and to not let the words of others hurt them.
Well now, it’s mainly the right that I will criticize. Many have voiced their opinions on the issue, and I’ve seen a good number of individuals saying that Mr. Kaepernick should be forced to stand for the Anthem, or that he should issue an apology for what he said, and I’ve seen countless photos on social media of American service members who were KIA and chastise the Niner’s QB for disrespecting a nation whom many have died for. The political right is looking pretty triggered right now…
So no, I don’t agree with the idea that there is systematic oppression in the U.S. And everything Mr. Kaepernick has said to defend his decision I have disagreed with, but he has a right, protected by the U.S. Constitution, to remain seated during the playing of the National Anthem. It is not against 49er’s team rules, nor is it against the law. So I am asking you on the right, the first advocates of free speech and the defense of it, to let this go. Just forget it even happened. Stop with with butthurt, stop with all the outrage, stop with the anger. He can have a different opinion than you, and that’s OK. All you’re doing is making him relevant again, which he needs to do, considering he’ll probably be out of the League within five years. Practice what you preach; respectfully disagree with his opinion about oppression and his decision not to respect the flag, but stop crucifying the man for it.If you are true advocates of free speech, then you will understand the importance of letting Mr. Kaepernick do as he sees fit. If you still want him to be forced to stand, or otherwise molded to fit your opinion of what an NFL quarterback should embody, than you are just as bad as the Social Justice Warriors that we love to fight. Well… maybe you aren’t that bad, but that’s still behavior that we should emulate. So let’s move on, I can’t believe this garnered any media attention at all.