Despite her ideals, America is an imperfect country. While we tend to hope that we that in 2018, discrimination and racism is a thing of the past, the truth is that it is alive and well in America.
Colin Kaepernick is trying to use his celebrity to help this country reach it’s ideals. His game day protests have garnered him fame and infamy outside of the world of professional football.
Today it was announced that he would be the face of a new Nike campaign. The slogan reads as follows:
“Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
You know who does not get it and will never get it. He will never understand what it is to be a person of color in America. Unlike you know who, Mr. Kaepernick not only stands for something, but he is also willing to put it all on the line for what he believes in.
Politics aside, I would rather stand with someone who risks it all for what they believe in rather than stand with someone who gives lip service and doesn’t give a sh*t about anyone or anything except themselves.
One of the core freedoms of our American democracy is freedom of speech. The basic tenet of this freedom is that one is allowed to act or speak against the government without fear of reprisal or persecution. Unfortunately, freedom of speech has become twisted in a manner recently that does not reflect its true meaning.
Last week, the NFL made a decision in regards to their players kneeling during the National Anthem. In response to players such as Colin Kaepernick kneeling to protest injustice against communities of color, the ruling stated that personnel may sit or kneel during the Anthem, however, they must do so in the locker room. If they are on the field, they must stand. Any personnel who do not stand while on the field will be fined.
I’m not a football fan, but I am a fan of freedom of speech. This ban smacks of hypocrisy from my perspective. Those who took a knee or sat during the Anthem were only acting as any American does when they see injustice happening. They were publicly protesting, which is a right guaranteed by the Constitution. The hypocrisy comes into play when those who claim to love the Anthem and everything it stands for, uses it to spread their hateful rhetoric or encourage violence (i.e. the rally in Charlottesville last year).
This ruling is a perversion of American democracy. My fervent hope and prayer is that this ruling is overturned. But until then, I will stand with the players who use their platform and celebrity for a good cause. Not just because it the right thing or the fair thing to do, but also because it represents everything that American can and should be.