Not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance doesn’t mean you hate America, just that you’re tired of America’s injustice.

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How dare Colin Kaepernick stand up or in this case sit down for something he believes in. How dare he not stand at attention or pledge allegiance to the flag of a country that has gone out of its way to show that African Americans, non whites and other burden bearers are not valued.

Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the National Anthem at all of his teams preseason games on the basis of protesting what he feels is racial injustice in America has left sports writers and teammates scratching their heads. On one hand those that aren’t affected by the social and racial injustice people of color are faced with daily wish Kaepernick would “just get over it,” like they tell us to do for slavery. They want him to get back to work, but they don’t say anything publicly for fear of sounding non empathetic and racist. While some of those in favor of his actions do so defiantly, as Kaepernick does, while others do it quietly for fear of losing endorsements, playing time, or column space to type.

Much of the public and some of Kaepernick’s teammates are up in arms about his decision to sit during the National Anthem, hiding behind the false narrative that not standing for the National Anthem seems like a swipe at military servicemen and servicewomen who sacrificed so Kaepernick could freely decide to do what he wants, like protest.

Which is a convenient excuse for those that have never put their life on the line for anyone else, but want to arm chair quarterback anyone that doesn’t fall in line with the establishment’s way of doing things.

I can say personally that without knowing Kaepernick, he probably respects our military service women/men, and prays for their safe return from wherever they are deployed; however, you can’t tell that to some who are blinded by black pride or by their own prejudice.

In my opinion those that have something to say about Kaepernick’s actions are more upset at his reasoning than the action itself. America seems to like its African American athletes/celebrities to be compliant and docile when it comes to social and racial injustices. As long as the African American athlete/celebrity continues to entertain on the basketball hardwood, football field and baseball diamond they are loved and respected, but as soon as they step out of line to stand up for those that are on the front lines of racial inequality they are labeled a “cancer” in the locker room or a malcontent.

It’s funny how some Americans want us to believe racism is a thing of the past and we are living in a post racial society, will get real patriotic when it comes to the National Anthem whether they served in the military or not, but look past the contributions made by African Americans and other people of color to this supposed great nation.

But the irony of it all is the same people offended by Gabby Douglas not placing her hand over her heart at the Olympics during the National Anthem are the same people that give Donald Trump and white US Olympians a pass when they do the same thing. Which begs the question, if the National Anthem is such an important and revered thing why aren’t all Americans judged the same way?

I guess the thought of a person, let alone a well known African American athlete choosing to flex his constitutional rights our military fought for, as he sees fit, only makes sense to the general public as long as it falls in line with what everyone else does..

While Kaepernick isn’t the first to refuse to take part in the National Anthem he is the latest in what appears to be a renaissance in today’s African American athlete who refuses contentment with their millions of dollars and endorsements, while their fellow brothers and sisters are systemically hunted down with the government’s approval, and now speaking out against state sanctioned racist policies.

What do you think? Do you think Kaepernick is right in his refusal to stand for the pledge of allegiance? Do you think that Kaepernick hates America by not standing?

Talk to me, I’ll talk back.

Breazy Rather

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