A lot of Americans have been criticizing Colin Kaepernick, to put it mildly. The San Francisco 49ers quarterback made headlines on Friday for refusing to stand for the national anthem. He says he did so to protest “black oppression” in the United States.
Kaepernick’s decision was greeted with howls of outrage, but one critical voice in particular stood out from the crowd. Who better to set the football star (and his bosses, the NFL) straight than the great patriot Allen West?
Over at his site, West first pointed out the NFL’s double standards when it comes to political self-expression: forbidding players from wearing decals honoring fallen police officers while letting others get away with spreading the false and divisive “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative in an obnoxious gesture.
West then turned his attention to Kaepernick:
First of all, let me clarify to you sir, you are a multi-millionaire “one-percenter” just because you can throw a ball and kiss your biceps. Men like Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Oscar Robertson, Ernie Davis, and Bernard King and Condredge Halloway of my alma mater were athletes who knew of oppression. You sir may certainly have the right to sit upon your “fourth point of contact” when the National Anthem is played but never forget, you live in a nation that has provided you the privilege to have that right. (…)
Here is the deal young man. My recommendation is that you apologize. Be a stand up fella and admit you made a very stupid comment. Humbly state that you do realize how very special this country is and the opportunities it has afforded you — and many others. You should take that stand and apologize to all of those who are currently serving in our Armed Forces and those veterans who’ve been willing to make that last full measure of devotion. You see, when the National Anthem is played, it has a very special meaning to us — maybe you should take a hiatus and go over to Helmand Province in Afghanistan and spend a week and understand why. Go over and throw a football with the men and women who enable you to earn those millions of dollars.
Not surprisingly, West’s testimony, which includes some of his family’s history serving in the U.S. military, is impressive and humbling. Let’s hope the person who needs to read it most, Colin Kaepernick, somehow gets to read it.
Source: Allen West