Colin Kaepernick and the red herring

Colin Kaepernick refused to stand up during the National Anthem in order to protest racial issues


Julie Norris

Are we focusing on the wrong issues in the case of Colin Kaepernick?

Joey Padula , Staff Writer

Colin Kaepernick, the backup quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers, has received a lot more attention in the news than your typical NFL backup quarterback does.

Kaepernick chose to peacefully protest pressing social issues in the United States by electing to not stand for the National Anthem in the 49ers last two preseason games and continued during his team’s first game on Monday Night Football.

“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 Newtwork’s Steve Wyche.

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

— Colin Kaepernick

While this has raised a lot of controversy and criticism towards Kaepernick, a bigger issue has been forgotten. Why again are we arguing about a man utilizing his rights? We are distracted from the more important issue because our first instinct is to judge others from the lens of our own opinions.

The backlash directed towards Kaepernick is similar to what we see on gun control issues. We seem to first think of our own selfish opinions.

Kaepernick is protesting the killing of young, unarmed black people in cities across the U.S., but the reaction is “Kaepernick’s going to insult our military?” Similarly, with gun violence on the rise, we hear “They’re going to take away my guns?”

Meanwhile 26 kids at an elementary school were just shot.

Even when former Penn State head coach Joe Paterno got the book thrown at him in the Jerry Sandusky scandal I remember the biggest crime being committed in most people’s eyes was Paterno losing his wins and honor, but they seemed to forget the issue at hand: so many kids and parents lives were ruined.

This NFL quarterback has chosen to use his power, to try and make a difference, for something important going on in our world today, even if you don’t think he’s doing it in the “right” way.

Maybe one day we can all humble ourselves enough to set aside our opinions and take a step back to remember why someone like Colin Kaepernick is taking a stand for issues like these.