Recently San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick had an action that sent shockwaves throughout the news media and the sports world. Often times we want our athletes to be heroes and to be someone that we aspire to be. What we should want them to do is be someone that inspires change for the better. Athletes that take those chances are often vilified or even ousted from their respective sports. It is a danger stance to take, especially for Kaepernick who isn't even the starting quarterback going into the year.
Muhammad Ali was banned from Boxing for his stance of the draft and the Vietnam War. Tommie Smith and John Carlos, both didn't have much a career in sprinting after being medalists during the 1968 Olympics salute. They all lost something in regards to their career because of their choices, but they still made the stand none the less. We hold them to a higher esteem now due to their actions but at the time, it wasn't necessarily seen in the same light. It takes a strong willed individual to stand up against the norm and I'm glad to see someone do it.
If you haven't been aware of the situation, during a Pre-Season game two weeks ago, Kaepernick actively chose to sit during the playing of the national anthem. That action has caused a huge disruption of the news media cycle from Twitter all the way to CNN & MSNBC. Everywhere you look someone is voicing their opinion on the situation. Whatever side you fall on the issue, Kaepernick has at least made this a conversation piece.
If you take a look at the actual message behind what Kaepernick's actions, you will see a relevant message. It is something that we have talked about at length before, and something that is a major issue today. He is referring to the issues between the Police and the minorities in America. His actions are the thing that is causing the uproar but there is a clear lack of discussion about the message. The message is the strong point and something that we need to be doing amongst each other. We clearly still have a problem in America with the Police utilizing their weapons. It should be something that is discussed in a more open fashion.
I don't think anyone is dismissing how tough of a job the Police have. They have a very tough job that puts them in harm's way on a daily basis. That does not excuse the actions of them however is the point. I applaud Kaepernick for taking a stand. Other athletes have followed suit taking a stand or more importantly, a sit during the Anthem. Eric Reid and Jeremy Lane took action during last nights games.
They have created a discussion amongst the general public and the media which is something that is needed. Hopefully we continue this discourse and some change comes of it. There are a few articles and videos below worth checking out.