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TOPIC: Colin Kaepernick's Bravery

Colin Kaepernick's Bravery 11 Sep 2016 21:19 #10166

  • tiffany.g
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I wasn't surprised when I learned that football player Colin Kaepernick received terrible criticism for not standing during the national anthem. It is obvious that he is tired, like many other Americans, with the injustice, racism, and brutality that people of color, specifically black people, have been forced to deal with. Kaepernick made it very clear that the reason he refused to stand was because this anthem was only for a country of privileged white people and it continues to mistreat the minority. He recognized the privilege he held being a football player and that he has some type of pedestal with this fame to make statements like these. This act was meant to bring awareness to an extreme crisis of violence and hatred against people of color and black people, so why did it receive so much backlash?

We are so used to athletes (and perhaps celebrities, in general) staying quiet about political and social justice issues, it was (unfortunately) misinterpreted by many - specifically white supremacists and racists. I saw countless videos of disrespectful and hateful people burning his football jersey in disapproval of his act. It was disgusting that many of these people were white, and believed that Kaepernick had no right to protest the injustice occurring (even though it is a basic citizen right). A retired NFL player, Rodney Harris criticized Kaepernick stating he went about it the wrong way being that he doesn’t have the right skin color to understand the issues he’s trying to bring awareness to (Mandell). Suddenly it became an issue whether he was the right candidate for protesting the oppression of minorities; and easily the media shifted the attention away from the real issues.

Martin Luther King Jr. stated in his Letter From Birmingham Jail that the biggest way to derail issues in a community is to question and criticize how a person protests those issues. Our biggest obstacle in this movement is not only those who don’t support the movement, but those who question our authenticity and credibility to protest the way we do. Although there was an extreme amount of criticism, there were many other celebrities and athletes that showed support by also refusing to stand for the national anthem. There is no one way to protest against injustice, but rather all these ways can lead to change. I salute Kaepernick and truly believe these are the acts that will bring a community more awareness and cause change.
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Colin Kaepernick's Bravery 18 Sep 2016 12:05 #10225

  • chidera.o
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Hello, Tiffany! I think your post is very well said! :cheer: Lately in the media I've also seen that along with criticism, Kaepernick has also received some positive responses as well. Other football players have decided to kneel in solidarity with Kaepernick, and so have many young athletes and sports teams across the country. It is absolutely a very important movement, and this shows that even one voice or one person's actions can make a huge difference. I've also noticed that some students who individually decide to protest the national anthem have received punishment from coaching staff, such as being benched or suspended from games. People who criticize these protest are generally people who want to ignore (or are okay with) the fact that there are racial injustices in this country.
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