49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick caused a huge controversy after choosing to sit down during the National Anthem on Friday night.
When Kaepernick was asked about why he did it, he responded:
“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.”
Independent Journal Review decided to see what veterans think about Kaepernick’s comments. We talked to Dorian Majied, an Army Ranger veteran who served in Iraq.
“I understand Kaepernick’s intention, however I disagree with his means. His NBA counterparts protested the same ideas in a way that neither hurt the country, nor ignored the ideals that people of color have fought and died which; ideals represented by the symbolism of the American Flag and words of the National Anthem.
As a member of a national organization, reaping the benefits of a country that apparently oppresses people who look like him, his argument is thin on a personal level.
Doing what Dwayne Wade and company did at a game opener to support BLM, or making a public verbal statement as Carmelo Anthony did, or even a written statement as Michael Jordan did are all more appropriate acts of protest.
He could write his congressman, he could petition, he could picket, he could join the service and actually fight for the rights he seems to think are not offered to him; his sitting through the National Anthem was a lazy lack of will and brain power.”
“To refuse to stand for the National Anthem is his right as an American, and I support that right, however I do not agree with that action.
There are a myriad of other ways to conduct social protest for people of color, that don’t, whether by intent or otherwise, ignore the American principles that have given rise to extreme integration within a single American generation.
My father was born without the right to vote and in one generation I’ve been blessed to lead amongst the world’s greatest fighting force.”
Then, he explained how Kaepernick is disrespecting the nation that gave him so much:
“To disrespect the country that has afforded him the opportunities and fortunes he acquired is only made more offensive by the fact that his life is the personification of the ideals I see in the American flag and National Anthem: a biracial child, raised by white parents, and who has accomplished much despite his “oppression.” In how many more nations around the world can a story like that come to fruition?
He made valid points, I’m not ignoring that there are still issues with race in America. However, he is ignoring the positive ideals of America that every colored person who has ever served, fought–while some died–for, by refusing to stand. Proper action is exactly that, action, not the inaction of not standing because he couldn’t think of a better way to protest.”
Majied finished by saying, “Kaepernick was wrong in his delivery and protested the wrong symbols of America. The American flag and National Anthem represent the highest of American ideals, not the lowest ideals.”