Last Friday night I stood on the sidelines of the Granite High School football field awaiting the start of the game between Flint Creek and Charlo. Vikings fans seemed at ease and ready to play as they talked about their chances in the contest. I’m sure Titans fans did much the same on the opposite side of the field.
When the announcer came on the public address system, he welcomed everyone to the field and then asked that everyone rise for the national anthem. Everyone did.
Everyone … except one.
But this man wasn’t protesting or trying to make a statement. He was handicapped.
He sat as straight and tall as his body would allow. But for him, standing wasn’t an option. So he did the best he could with what he had to honor flag and country.
I have to admit that I’ve had a hard time with the protests that San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick started during the NFL preseason. In my view, I don’t see Kaepernick truly drawing attention to the issue which he claims to be so passionate about. The ONLY discussion I hear being had is whether or not he has the right protest in the manner he’s chosen. His cause of black oppression in the United States is rarely mention and lost in the noise of people offended by his actions.
My problem with Kaepernick is that he has shown very little “skin in the game”. Last week Kaepernick said he would donate the proceeds from his jersey sales (which are currently soaring) to charity. Which charity he failed to state. But as of late August, Kaepernick had made zero donations to Black Lives Matter or any other such cause. He has not stated plans to start any such organization himself or become part of one that already exists.
Personally I find Kaepernick to be the chicken in the old joke about who was more involved in breakfast. The chicken contributed to the meal, but the pig was completely invested in it.
I was dismayed when I initially heard that the Seattle Seahawks were going to act as a team and not stand during the National Anthem during their season opener Sunday against Miami. But evidently calmer heads prevailed, coming up with the idea to remain standing and interlocking arms to show their support.
I think that decision showed the proper respect for everyone involved.
Let’s hope others take note.
The real question of Kaepernick’s dedication to the cause he has expressed interest in is when his career in the NFL ends. Anyone who follows the league knows that it won’t be long before he is off the 49ers roster. And his performance in the last few years won’t likely get him a spot on another team. And if that’s the case, then you just have to wonder what his next move is?
If the contract goes away, will his fiancé leave him? They were engaged just a few months before these shenanigans and is a devout Muslim and Black Lives activist.
Will he join a cause and back up his sit down with a stand up attitude?
Will he create his own movement if one doesn’t really address his cause? Heaven knows with a net worth of around $100 million, he should be able to manage something.
Or will he just be the spoiled little rich guy and fade into the shadows never to be heard from again, except for possibly a brief mention on Sports Center for some misguided action.
Only time will tell just how committed Colin Kaepernick really is. I’d like to hope that it is more than what we are seeing now, which isn’t saying a lot.