Unless you live under a rock, you probably know that San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick has made the decision not to stand for the national anthem before games to protest police violence and racism throughout the country. For the past several days, sports news and political news have collided to form the ultimate vortex of hot takes.
Want to know how an eighty-two year old white Canadian feels about Colin Kaepernick? You got it:
However I think this Tweet summed up a lot of the backlash well:
I mean, certainly, NFL executives can't be angry right? I mean these same executives charged our military $5.4 million dollars for displays of patriotism.
Wrong! According to Bleacher Report, his career might be effectively ended by this act of civil disobedience.
One NFL executive said:
I don't want him anywhere near my team, he's a traitor."
Thankfully, some light was able to pass through this seemingly impenetrable vortex in the hashtag #VeteransForKaepernick. Tuesday night, after the articles about Kaepernick had circulated for a while, soldiers of all races stepped up to stand behind Colin's use of his right to protest that they fought to defend.
Members of our military got thousands of retweets and many people went through to thank the soldiers for their service:
A member of the same Army Rangers battalion that NFL Safety Pat Tillman perished in also showed his solidarity at a Cubs game:
It was truly an opportunity for people of all sides in this conversation about protesting the anthem to remember that no matter how you feel about Colin's protest, it is his right to sit. Protest is not meant to make you feel comfortable. It's meant to be provocative, it's meant to start a conversation, and by sitting on that bench Colin Kaepernick has achieved that, possibly at the cost of his NFL career.
I believe NBA legend and social activist Kareem Abdul-Jabar summed it up the best:
Colin Kaepernick will be remembered by history as someone who risked their luxurious career to stand up for what he thought was right.
Thank you too all veterans and active-duty members of our military for fighting to protect our rights.
Lead Image Credit: Au Kirk via Wikimedia Commons