This is duty, honor, determination and heroism.



This is sacrifice.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick warms up before the NFL football NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

This is a grotesquely overpaid adolescent that knows not duty, honor, determination, heroism or sacrifice: 

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.

His latest refusal to stand for the anthem — he has done this in at least one other preseason game — came before the preseason loss to Green Bay at Levi’s Stadium on Friday night.

‘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. ‘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.’

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.’

“But it’s his right!” Indeed it is. We all have the right to make jackasses of ourselves, but most of us choose not to exercise it.

And who, one wonders, is being oppressed? Kaepernick’s vacuous statement suggests he’s referring to black thugs lawfully and necessarily killed by the police, and perhaps even Freddie Gray, a drugged petty criminal that accidently killed himself in a likely “crash for cash” scheme. One can’t expect highly paid athletes to be aware of reality. After all, a great many are unable to negotiate college without unethical help, and more and more of them are proving to be the kinds of witless thugs–rape, spousal abuse, etc.–about which Kaepernick so pretends to care.

I don’t imagine for a moment that Kaepernick will do any actual research. Like good progressives everywhere, he’s relying on feelings and narratives, but he would be well served to visit these archives here at SMM, where he can find the facts that just might keep him from behaving like a shallow fool:

Trayvon Martin Archive   

Michael Brown Archive 

Freddie Gray Archive 

And what sort of oppression are “people of color” facing? Kaepernick doesn’t say, but I suspect he’s miffed because immigration laws are actually being enforced from time to time.

The oppression Kaepernick suffers is oppressive indeed. According to,  last year Kaepernick made a bit under $20 million dollars, and that in a year in which the 49ers’ went 5-11.  I suspect most Americans would think that pretty good for a black person.  Actually, they’d think that ridiculously good for any color person.

I admit it: I’m a white guy. I can’t feel the horrors of the kind of oppression Kaepernick has endured. Granted, he was raised by a white family, who, by all accounts, did well by him, and he does make millions a year, still, I’m sure, being black, he has suffered mightily. But on the other hand, race is no excuse for behaving like an overly-emotional idiot.

Is it?

UPDATE, 08-28-16 1740 CST:

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