Down on your knee to take a stand.
Did Colin Kaepernick have the right to take a knee during his country’s national anthem?
Yes. Unless, his contract or the team’s policies and procedures manual, which he no doubt signed, dictates otherwise. If there is a stipulation in his contract(s) that he must stand during the playing of the anthem and/or pledge of allegiance, management has the right to take action.
What is my take on Mr. Kaepernick’s stand? As a proud American, I’ll tell you.
- First of all, while I do not agree with his decision to remain seated during the national anthem, I defend his right to do so.
- I understand that Mr. Kaepernick has made this “statement” before. I ask the media, why didn’t you point it out before? I ask Mr. Kaepernick, was this recent stance for the same reason as the previous?
- There are many ways of taking a stand, making a point, or bringing awareness to a belief, cause, or principle–why this? Why not pay for a television or radio commercial to state your case? Why not write an open letter stating your opinions?
- I pose this question to Mr. Kaepernick–if you were a guest in another country, and their anthem played, would you stand? I’ll give you a hint: Protocol and plain ol’ common courtesy and respect dictates that you do. As a guest, respect is given to the host. In this case, the United States of America.
- I understand that you are not a guest, you are a citizen of the United States of America, which grants you the freedom to make your statement. But, as a member of a team, standing next to your teammates and coaches would have shown respect for them and their beliefs.
Standing up during a national anthem does not indicate allegiance or agreement with everything a country stands for; it does indicate dignity, social skills, gratitude, etiquette, and respect.
Perhaps we can put this tired story to rest. But before we do, this incident can serve to remind us that our actions do have consequences, and that there are many ways to “take a stand,” respectfully.
“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” he said. “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.” -Colin Kaepernick
How well did it serve your cause, Mr. Kaepernick?
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Photo Source: Miami Herald