In light of recent debates currently surfacing around the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick and his decision to sit and not participate in the National Anthem presentation during last week’s pre-season game against the Green Bay Packers, I thought I would share my two cents worth.
Mr. Kaepernick has expressed his decision in a statement noting that he could not stand and show pride in a flag for a Country that has oppressed black people and people of colour. This statement left me bewildered and unimpressed as a human and as a parent. My child is a 49ers fan, he’s a Kaepernick fan and for good reason. Colin Kaepernick is an exceptional athlete and has showed tremendous support in various charitable organizations. I understand wanting to stand up for something you believe in, but I absolutely and unequivocally believe that his view on the presentation of the National Anthem is flawed. I was also stunned beyond belief that the NFL and the team seemed to have demonstrated support of this decision. Longtime hockey coach, John Tortorella, has the right idea and I 100% agree and respect his position on players who choose to sit on the bench during the National Anthem. Coach Tortorella stands by his comment that should his players choose to sit on the bench for the National Anthem, they can sit there for the rest of the game. Well played, and much earned respect.
The presentation of the National Anthem is not a personal platform to make a stand on your position against a hateful society. I, like many other people throughout North America have been outraged and disgusted with the recent and past tragedies that have occurred against individuals despite their colour of skin. We cannot right the wrongdoings of generations before us – we only have the present time and we are wasting it fighting each other when we should be working together to live peacefully within a united society and nation. The only way we as humans can move forward in a safe environment without hate is for everyone to recognize that no race is superior to another – we are all created equal and we all have the right to be respected and treated with equality and dignity.
The National Anthem has been a continued part of sporting events for generations, children sing it at school and it has been a party of our history – it’s a form of pride and respect. The participation in the presentation of the National Anthem symbolizes the continued support in those that have battled, fought and many who have lost their lives protecting our Countries. I have never known anyone to look around and believe that by singing or standing for the National Anthem was deemed sufficient evidence that the individual welcomed, believed in and respected how everyday people treat one another or how society treats people, regardless of gender, sex, age, race, etc.
The National Anthem ceremonies demonstrate respect, support and the belief in all those that have battled to protect the people of our Nations. These men and woman are putting their entire lives on the line, leaving their families all in the name so that we may enjoy our lives without terror attacks, war zones and other things that as citizens in the North America we don’t ever see firsthand. Many of these men and woman have lost their lives protecting our freedoms and rights in missions across the world, so stand up, shut up for a few minutes, show your gratitude, respect and support for the families who have lost loved ones in the battlefields and for those still out there everyday waiting to come home.
Disclaimer: This post was written in a view that the National Anthem has the same classifications in Canada and in United States of America. It is my own words and my own thoughts.