So what do you think of Colin Kaepernick? I’ll tell you what kids and millennials and anti-establishment types everywhere think – they love him! Colin Kaepernick’s 49ers jerseys are reportedly flying off the shelves, so it looks like a lot of people have Kap’s back.
Colin Kaepernick might not be the San Francisco 49ers starting quarterback, but he’s leading the league in one stat — jersey sales. Since Kaepernick made headlines in late August by refusing to stand for the National Anthem, his jersey ranks as one of the best sellers in the NFL.
The latest stats on NFL jersey sales have Kaepernick’s jersey listed as the top seller on the NFL Shop’s website, ahead of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz and Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. Wow.
So what do you think? Kaepernick has taken a stand by not standing up. He will not stand idly by and he will not stand for the continued abuse of power by a select number of police officers across the country. And that is the issue. Yes young black men are being disproportionally targeted, but at the end of the day, it’s the abuse of power that we all should be concerned about.
Not standing for the National Anthem is the 2016 version of burning the American Flag, sort of. Students in the ‘60’s who protested the Vietnam War, I mean the Vietnam “Conflict,” burned the flag as symbol of their angst and anger over the U.S. involvement in a squabble half a world away. Over 50,000 young lives were lost, and many, many more were injured and maimed for life because of a decision by policy makers to partake in a lost cause.
So, we return to question on the floor: “Is Colin Kaepernick justified in his protest?”
Even President Obama has weighed in, and had this to day:
My understanding, at least, is that is he’s exercising his constitutional right to make a statement. I think there’s a long history of sports figures doing so. As a general matter, when it comes to the flag the national anthem and the meaning that holds for our men and women in uniform and those who’ve fought for us — that is a tough thing for them to get past to then hear what his deeper concerns are,” he said. “But I don’t doubt his sincerity. I think he cares about some real, legitimate issues that need to be talked about and if nothing else what he’s doing has generated more conversation around some topics that need to be talked about” (CNN).
Now let’s call Colin in to defend his position and to speak for himself. Here’s what Kaepernik told NFL.com’s Steve Wyche:
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
Wow. That’s a powerful statement. So, agree or disagree, if nothing else, we must acknowledge that Kaepernick is raising awareness. And I do applaud him for that.