I’m a Middle-Aged White Guy … and I Support Colin Kaepernick

Kaepernick has decided to sit during the national anthem. Shocking? Maybe. Is it disrespectful? Maybe. Is it his right? Damn straight.

I find it slightly amusing that many other middle-aged white guys — ones who did not serve in the military — find his stance offensive to those who fight for our freedoms. Kaepernick has explicitly stated that he is not opposed to the military and is thankful for their sacrifices. It is about racial injustice.

So do all these white folks lambasting Kaepernick realize that Francis Scott Key was a slave owner? That he prosecuted abolitionists? And if that isn’t enough for you (and it well may not be), then there is one other thing.

Key wrote more than one verse to the Star Spangled Banner. And in his third verse, it basically gets happy about dead slaves. Um … not cool.

Switching gears, let’s go back to the Rio Olympics and Gabby Douglas getting blasted for not putting her hand over her heart during the national anthem. She was roasted on a spit via social media. Harsh? Let’s compare, shall we?

Americans Ryan Crouser and Joe Kovacs, gold and silver medalists respectively in the shot put, both failed to put their hands over their hearts as the national anthem played.

I didn’t hear one damn peep from anyone about their so-called disrespect. Is it because they are shot putters, not gymnasts? Or is it because they are burly white men, not a three-time Olympic gold medal-winning Black woman? Hmmm.

Lots of these middle-aged white guys support freedom of speech for corporations, just not athletes. They want Kaepernick to either shut up and stand up, or take his multi-million dollars for playing a game and leave.

I think they are just jealous. The man is an elite athlete (not, mind you, an elite quarterback, but that is a different story). He gets paid to play football, a childhood dream for most of us middle-aged white guys. And you hold that against him when he decides to try and make our country a better place.

A middle aged white guy drives down the road in a $100,000 sports car. No big deal. A young mixed-race man does the same thing. Who will get pulled over more often? What do you think when you see a black man driving an expensive car? Thief? Pro athlete? Why not successful entrepreneur? Or world-class litigator?

Kaepernick is doing something. You may not like his manner of doing something, but by God we are talking about it now. I’m guessing most are not doing much to better race relations in America. Our country is great, but it isn’t perfect.

True patriots stand for freedom. True patriots fight injustice. And true patriots don’t malign other true patriots.

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