The Problem with Kaepernick

Well, there’s two problems actually. In the first place, he’s rude, obnoxious, arrogant and stupid. In the second place, he’s totally misguided. Let me explain.

First, the rudeness.  This has nothing to do with his right to self-expression, or freedom of speech, or anything like that.  It has to do with civilized behavior.  Here’s an example.

Since so many of my good friends are Jewish, I’ve often been invited to their coming of age ceremonies, weddings, funerals and so on.  Similarly with Catholic friends.  Now, I don’t have a religious bone in my body, but many people whom I love and respect do, so out of my respect for them I do two things:  (1) I gratefully accept their invitations to attend such events, and (2) I do not make ostentatious displays of disapproval when I am in attendance.  Both actions are manifestations of the deep respect I have for them.  I respect their beliefs, and I respect their feelings, so I keep my opinions to myself at such times.  My feelings are irrelevant to the purpose at hand.  It is their ceremony, not mine,  and I feel honored to be there.

Although one might argue that I have some sort of “right” to speak my mind on such occasions, I think we can all agree that it would be unconscionably rude to do so.  After all, if I wish to have my opinions known, I can certainly choose to do so at a time and place that will not offend others.  And having a “right” to do something doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

Another case in point:  the Pledge of Allegiance.  Now, I don’t believe in the existence of “gods” and will not be forced, coerced, cajoled or intimidated into saying that I do.  So when it comes to the words “…under God…” I simply remain silent for 1 second.  I could, of course, make farting noises under my arm, or flap my arms like a chicken, or turn my back on the flag for 1 second, or do any number of other rude things to indicate my disagreement with the majority.  

I do none of those things, however.  To do so would be offensive and rude, and I try to walk through life being neither of those.  If I really feel the need to notify others of my opinion, there are many different places and times for me to do that.  As in the case of religious ceremonies, it would be very, very wrong of me to hijack someone else’s deeply personal ritual of respect for my own purposes, especially when there are so many alternatives.

The singing of the National Anthem is a time-honored tradition, one in which all attendees stop what they are doing to stand silently and recognize the tremendous sacrifices our forefathers made for the freedoms we enjoy today.  It is a solemn moment when we can pause in our daily lives and remember how we came to be here, the tremendous price that’s been paid and those who paid it.  Colin Kaepernick has shown utter disrespect for them by grandstanding like this.

And that is why Colin Kaepernick’s “taking a knee” offends me.  He and others purport to be using “their platform and status” (see this article) to call attention to their beliefs.  As the analogies I provided above show, this is an offensive hijacking of someone else’s platform.  Kaepernick and other so-called “celebrities” have ample opportunity to express their beliefs elsewhere, opportunities that are routinely denied to ordinary non-athletic non-celebrity fact-based logic-toting old fogeys like me.  [I promise, however, that I will not instigate a riot or looting spree to protest this inequity.   And you’re welcome!]

This is a fundamental issue of disrespect — a total lack of understanding of, and respect for, what the flag represents.   It insults the thousands upon thousands of brave men and women who gave the last full measure of devotion to the nation for which it stands.

IT’S NOT HIS PLATFORM, DAMNITALL!  HE’S DOING A JOB, HE’S ON THE CLOCK, HE IS WORKING FOR MONEY AND HIS EMPLOYER HAS EVERY RIGHT TO FIRE HIS ASS FOR SUCH BEHAVIOR!

I don’t care WHY he was doing this.  It just doesn’t matter.  For all I care, he could have been protesting a belief in god or the lack of a good 5 cent cigar, and on both counts I would agree with his thinking.  But although I would agree with him on both counts, I would still condemn him for being such a complete ass for going about it the way he did.  He is effectively thumbing his nose at the patriots who died for his right to do so.  And then he and the other liberal apologists get their wussified knickers in a twist because people are offended.  Well, DUH!

Colin Kaepernick has a right to try such stunts.  And fortunately, the team for which he works has the right to fire his ugly ass for such behavior.  And I’m glad they did.  Unfortunately, many teams apparently allow such behavior, so I’ve decided I won’t watch football at all.  Why should I give my attention to rude behavior?  They can all go pound sand.

And now on to the second problem with Kaepernick: he’s misguided.  Few people know the exact reason he started this.   If you actually know the reason, please state it out loud before continuing.  For the record, here’s a link where he explains himself).  And here’s a link to the video itself.  And finally, here’s a link to his last words, indicating malicious intent towards the officers.  Please, don’t even consider responding to this if you cannot honestly say you’ve watched these videos and read the accompanying text.  

Now after reading those articles and watching the video, I have little sympathy for the victim.  Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.  Watch the videos carefully, read the analyses before you make up your mind.

For Kaepernick to pick this, of all incidents, to protest just seems kind of silly.  He never thought to protest the killings of brave police officers in the line of duty who were ambushed by drug dealers or gang members, or to protest the dozens of senseless black-on-black murders that have rocked the city of Chicago every single weekend for decades, or the child pornography industry, or Nike sneakers being made by slave labor in China.  He never thought to protest the hundreds of thousands of babies cast into medical waste disposal bins in abortion mills.  He never thought to condemn the outright slavery that still exists in some Muslim countries.  It never occurred to him to protest so many other worthy causes.  Why?  Because none of them would have supplied the political cachet that Mario Woods provided.

No, no, no, no no — after failing to become famous by dint of effort and athletic talent, he decided to make a name for himself as a champion of rights by defending a known felon, a gang-banging, knife-toting, drugged-up felon who had already stabbed one man, resisted every non-lethal response and was threatening the life of responding police officers.  [“A blood toxicology exam found that at the time of his death, Woods had methamphetamine, marijuana, cough medicine, antidepressants, caffeine and nicotine in his system.” see this link.] 

Nice work, Mr. Kaepernick.  Real nice.  And for that, you insult the countless thousands of brave Americans and patriots who gave their lives to ensure the very freedom of speech you abuse with such callous disregard for their sacrifice.  As my dear old Great Grandma Armstrong used to say, “Beautiful.  Just fuckin’ beautiful.”

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