Stop Pedestalizing Celebrities

If you’re troubled by Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest during a pre-season football game, it’s probably for different reasons than mine.

While I was shopping for shirts with my wife, we came across a tank top, (never owned one before and we were vacationing in California) that would have been perfect for me, but it had an American flag on it. We looked at each other and in sobering simultaneity, rejected the shirt. It’s not that I hate America, but I choose not to represent my country because my country does not represent me.

Political candidates who should be disgusting to any reasonable person, Americans hating a whole religion because of extremists while Christian pastors get rich by spreading hate, indefensible racism being alive and well in our country — these are among many, many reasons that inspire me to choose not to wear an American flag, (work uniform aside).

There are millions of people in this country who would refuse to put their hand over their hearts during the pledge of allegiance or choose not to stand during the National Anthem. The only reason Colin Kaepernick is getting so much attention is because we are giving it to him.

One solution is to stop making athletes role models. This tired comparison between athletes and teachers or doctors or military men and women may be obnoxious, but it’s true. Who gives a shit what this man does? By allowing him to misappropriate the public’s emotions, we are only getting caught up in a whirlwind of self-defeating drama. Who is giving this man more attention than he deserves? Let him pout on a bench just like I was pouting in Kohl’s and we’re all good.

What I’m troubled by is all of the attention we give to our celebrities. They are just doing a job and doing their work makes them no more informed than any other person on the planet.

I’m also troubled by some of the criticism that Kaepernick is receiving. Radio show host, Sam Malone, who guest hosted for Mike Gallagher on 8.29.16, wondered aloud what Kaepernick could possibly know of oppression since he had white adoptive parents and made millions each year, having his checks signed by white men who owned NFL teams.

Malone’s understanding of this situation is presented disingenuously, divisively, and makes him sound like he is either out of touch with the suffering of minorities in this country, (non-whites 37%, Muslims 1%, and non-religious 8%) or he’s just spouting nonsense to gather ratings for his own radio show while guest hosting one of the top ten shows in the country.

Either way, Kaepernick will go away if we stop listening to him.