COCHRANTINGS: OK, NOW WHAT?

Photo courtesy of Kristy Vicari

Photo courtesy of Kristy Vicari

By now you know San Francisco 49ers QB, Colin Kaepernick, has decided to protest what he says is mistreatment of people of color by sitting through the traditional pregame national anthem.

Here’s his statement to NFL.COM.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color, 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.”

Kaepernick has the right to his opinion. The funny thing is it’s the greatness of America that allows his free expression of how disgusted he is with America. Freedom of Speech is an amazing thing but it comes with consequences. This could be just the excuse the 49ers need to send him packing after his very disappointing last two seasons.

BUT…the team and the league both have said the QB will not be punished. It’s highly hypocritical considering the NFL hasn’t hesitated to fine players for seemingly minor infractions in game including a simple charity plug or any other “protests” on the field. Without any penalty here it will be interesting to see if other players follow Kaepernick’s actions.

As for the statement above he may not be the best spokesperson for oppression. Kaepernick was adopted by white parents who brought him up in Wisconsin. Not exactly “da hood”. He had a full ride football scholarship at Nevada and is currently enjoying a $19m/yr average salary for the 6-year deal he is in now. Let’s be clear. He’s not Muhammed Ali fighting for religious freedom or Jackie Robinson who saw vicious racism everyday.

Worse yet is his “…getting away with murder” comment. When police act and someone dies in St. Louis, Chicago, New York and beyond there are investigations that yield the following. The police acted appropriately, inappropriately, or criminally. The deceased are found to be victims or criminals who put themselves in harm’s way. Colin Kaepernick is simply spreading the same one sided, dangerous, and false narrative that cops are hunting black kids. It’s not just wrong- it’s outrageous.

Why now Colin? Where were you on NFL player’s abuse of women and constant DUIs? Why is this your sudden cause now?

What now QB? Will you visit kids in bad neighborhoods? Will you talk to cops about what they really see and do everyday? Will you keep spouting cliches you hear on social media? Will you educate yourself on both sides of the truth of the cause you have put your name on?

Or will you continue your anthem sit-in with nothing but a vague promise to stay seated until “the country changes”? What the Hell does that even mean? This is your chance to do something if you truly believe in what you have said. So, what now Colin Kaepernick?

The tradition of the National Anthem before games matters. It’s a group celebration of patriotism and a chance to think about why you are blessed to be here. It’s a tribute to those who have fought and those who have died to protect our freedoms…including Kaepernick’s freedom of speech.

I have witnessed first hand, men with bodies broken by war, rise out of their wheel chairs to salute our flag. I have seen widows and children salute the flag that their husbands and fathers fought for and died doing so.

I respect Colin Kaepernick’s right to sit during the anthem. I have no respect for him for doing it.

Thanks for listening.

SC