Quarterback fumbled with anthem boycott

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Colin Kaepernick did the near-impossible this weekend. In one fell swoop, the struggling NFL quarterback knocked Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton from the headlines and, at the same time, alienated a huge segment of the American public.

Kaepernick took a page from the 1968 Olympic display of two American athletes and refused to stand for the national anthem during a preseason football game.

The 49ers quarterback took his highly public stance to draw attention to "police brutality" which he feels is rampant across the country. His anti-law enforcement display immediately drew the wrath of millions.

But like it or not, Kaepernick has all the right in the world to air his sentiments. He has the freedom to boycott our national anthem for whatever reason or cause he advocates.

And it's exactly those freedoms that make his refusal the more ironic.

But football fans and casual observers have rights too. We have the right to boycott the team and games, the right to disagree vocally with his position and the right to point out the fallacy and outright lies of his position.

And if you've paid any attention to social media since the incident, you'll find that Americans are exercising the right to disagree with this spoiled athlete who spouts anecdotes that have absolutely no basis in truth.

Don't think for a moment that this was some spontaneous epiphany that motivated Kaepernick. Shortly after the national anthem boycott, Kaepernick huddled with Dr. Harry Edwards, an African American activist who helped plan the 1968 Mexico City Olympic black power salutes by the two American athletes.

Those who seek to address racial issues are to be commended. It's long past the time when Americans should honestly and openly discuss the core issues that concern racism and the plight of minority communities.

But here's a clue to those who seek this spotlight.

Instead of focusing on highly selective and isolated instances of overt racism - especially those dealing with law enforcement - perhaps it's time to honestly and openly discuss black-on-black crime, the lack of role models in a majority of far too many families and the role gang activity has in the deterioration of the minority community.

But highly publicized law enforcement incidents are apparently an easier target. Perhaps it's too sensitive to discuss in excess of 70 percent of minority children are raised in a single-parent household. Or perhaps it's not politically correct to point out the statistics of minority crime.

Those who choose to air their grievances find an easy target in law enforcement. They adopt the tactics of misinformation and outright lies to promote their racial views.

But this is America and you have the right to be misinformed, you have the right to be used and you have the right to be wrong.

Kaepernick hit the racial trifecta. He's misinformed, he was used and he is wrong.

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