Do We Care about Colin Kaepernick’s Best Interest or Using Him as a Political Football?

   It has been nearly a calendar year since celebrities, and non-celebrities alike have overrun the media with a series of falderals regarding Colin Kaepernick’s decision to remain seated during the national anthem before the kickoff of a preseason game. Kaepernick was once lauded as the anticipated quarterback of the future for the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately, his career has been in flux since leading the Prospectors to a Super Bowl appearance against the Baltimore Ravens.

As of Wednesday, August 2, 2017, 7 a.m. EDT, the aftermath of the sitting versus kneeling controversy had left Kaepernick without a team when the San Francisco 49ers decided to allow him to opt out of his contract and become a free agent. Although he is more qualified or experienced than some quarterbacks in the National Football League, Kaepernick has not been presented with serious offers from any franchise to even have a chance as a backup QB.

Of course, there is nothing inappropriate about anyone having an opinion on this subject matter. I just have a question about the motives of certain individuals because some have little frame of reference about Kaepernick’s career. There have been people I have known over the years attempting to use Kaepernick as the clarion call for injustice, and they could not tell the difference between a football helmet and a batting helmet.

These are some of the selfsame characters who have to make statements on every facet of conversation that is trending in social media such as the following: Jay-Z’s latest album, O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing, Beyoncé’s children, God is going to send you money in three days, LeBron versus Kyrie Irving, and LaVar Ball versus everyone. They just cannot have any topic slip past them without alerting everybody and their mama on Twitter and Facebook.

Conversely, I have known colleagues for several years who have always spoken against racialism and social injustice. Whether or not I was in agreement with them, some of my acquaintances have been the model of consistency on Kaepernick and other topics.

I am just questioning the sincerity of some of my friends whom my wife claims are too afraid of missing out on the zeitgeist of the day. These are some of the clowns I may have known to have consumed barbeque ribs (and everything else pork) every week for over four decades and three days ago has some sort of epiphany and are unwilling to even walk in front of a Shane’s Rib Shack for fear that it may not be kosher. Perhaps, these are some of the individuals that Jason Whitlock could have referenced in his recent commentary on FOX Sports.

Nevertheless, Kaepernick has to take some responsibility for being an inferior caricature of a luminary such as Dr. Harry Edwards while donning a Fidel Castro T-shirt on one particular afternoon. This farce was reminiscent of a character in the movie Car Wash where the owner’s son walked around the facility wearing a Mao Zedong shirt while quoting his sayings from a book like Aunt Esther would do carrying a King James Bible on Sanford and Son.

Regardless, the national discord has been multifarious in nature about whether or not Kaepernick had the right to act in such fashion. Hidebound traditionalists were eager to point out that Kaepernick’s decision to not stand was showing contempt for all soldiers who had made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States of America despite the realization that this was done in part to allow him and others to opportunities to demonstrate these freedoms. Conversely, some progressives adopted radical positions about the patriotism of some the nation’s most nefarious criminals (such as Timothy McVeigh) not being questioned despite committing their fiendish deeds which are a means of distraction.

In truth, extremism on either side of the political spectrum should be avoided because it is easy to be misled or intentionally deceived. Propaganda of intolerance and racialism has become more prevalent from all sides since circa 2008. The demagoguery of “straight talk” and “keeping it 100” has paralyzed this nation close to the point of no return; it has resulted in politicians purported to have called for Gestapo tactics by police for maintaining order.

The recent passing of my father earlier this month has caused me to be in a deeper level of introspection about his weltanschauung. My dad served in the military during what was considered the Vietnam Era but was not deployed there during the mid-sixties. Nonetheless, he still was a fan of Muhammad Ali during that period and taught me to be the same, but his patriotism still overshadowed any shortcomings America had during his lifetime.

Thus, my conjecture is that both of my parents (who have passed away in the past ten months) would not be in agreement with Kaepernick’s action. When I received the carefully folded flag that covered my dad’s coffin at a national cemetery, I felt that a healthy respect for this national symbol is a privilege that should not be avoided as long as it does not lead to jingoism. In closing, Kaepernick (and us all) are free not to participate in certain traditions, but there are better ways to address social aspects besides this one alone.