Back to the Bad Old Days

Sometimes it feels like we are re-living the worst of the 1960s. The latest headache-inducing news comes from Colin Kaepernick, a once-promising quarterback whose career now appears to be in decline. As explained by the National Football League, Kaepernick has decided not to stand for the National Anthem as a protest against America’s “oppression” of people of color:

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has willingly immersed himself into controversy by refusing to stand for the playing of the national anthem in protest of what he deems are wrongdoings against African Americans and minorities in the United States.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game.

Kaepernick, who is biracial and was adopted by a white couple, is playing, according to Spotrac, under “a 6 year, $114,000,000 contract with the San Francisco 49ers, including a $12,328,766 signing bonus, $61,000,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $19,000,000.” When he talks about oppression, I take it Kaepernick is not referring to his own experience.

“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

This evidently is more Black Lives Matter mythology. The “bodies in the street” have been shot by policemen who are now “getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” We have written about this nonsense many times and there is no need to rehash all of that here.

Both the 49ers and the NFL are tolerant of Kaepernick’s protest:

The 49ers issued a statement about Kaepernick’s decision: “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”

The NFL also released a statement, obtained by NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport: “Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem.”

Kaepernick has the right, of course, to stand or not stand as he sees fit, just as fans have the right to respond as they deem appropriate. This is just one more manifestation of the racial regression that has been one of the worst features of the Obama era.

I can’t help remembering, though, the time when Bud Grant decided that his Vikings looked sloppy when the National Anthem was being played. He actually a conducted a practice in how to line up for the Anthem in a proper manner. But those days are rapidly slipping away.

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