Some people got their britches up in a bunch about San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick not standing up during the playing of the 'National Anthem' this past Friday (August 26th) pre-season game. Some fans took offense to this, burning Colin's jersey, as well as other people who spoke out against Kaepernick refusal to stand for the national anthem. So, I took it upon myself to do a some research about who wrote the song, where America was at the time, the message the song was trying to convey and the energy behind it. I'll get into that as I continue to write, for now, let's find out the details of this whole Colin Kaepernick controversial concerning the national anthem, his reasons and how he is not the first athlete to stand for something.
When Colin Kaepernick was interviewed exclusively by NFL Media as to why he refused to stand during the national anthem, he expressed the issue of police brutality and America's history of enslaving and oppressing Black people.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses Black people and people of color," Colin told NFL Media.
He continued with his statement about the innocent killings of Black men across the nation.
"To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
Even after giving his reasons, some fans and others still took offense, instead of trying to understand the logic and the truth in Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the national anthem. Is there an issue with police brutality in this country? And the answer is yes, you can't deny it. Does America have a history of enslaving and oppressing Black people? Do they continue to use tactics in oppression such as psychological conditioning in media broadcasting, the negative narrative and portrayal in trying to exclude Black people, the lack of justice from police brutality killing? The lack of collective effort in politics and law to abolish racism which is a mental disorder? But the minute a person stands up against racism, they are the trouble makers instead of being portrayed as courageous and having the strength to not fall for bigotry but rise against it.
It's sad to see a man stand up for others, with dignity being portrayed and spoken out against as if he did something wrong. But none have took the time to try to understand and even be willing to learn something new, by opening up a book to discover what Colin Kaepernick is talking about pertaining to the national anthem. The reason for it is, for some people it is easier to deny, neglect certain issues, they would rather sweep it under the rug then take time and apply effort to rectify the problem. It's not like the solution is not there, it's just that some people are resistant to change, even if it means improving the lives of others.
Since the Colin Kaepernick's ordeal with the national anthem, the 49ers issues a statement, standing alongside Colin in his decision, acknowledging his right to do so as a citizen and a human being.
"The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem."
Prior to this national anthem controversy, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade and Chris Paul took a stand at the ESPY Awards in July of this year, to bring awareness about police brutality and urging others to take a stand as well. Carmelo Anthony even marched with protestors in Baltimore. In the same month, three WNBA players wore "Black Lives Matter" shirts to get a message across, counteracting the vile acts of police brutality on Black lives. And there has been numerous athletes who took a stand, including Olympians and Muhammad Ali who was a fighter not only in the ring, but stood up for the rights of others just like Colin Kaepernick.
Now let's look at the history of the national anthem, it was written by Francis Scott Key in 1814. The writer of the national anthem song and lyrics was a slave owner. He even criticized slaves for trying to fight with the British and stand up for their rights in obtaining their freedom from the British. Francis Scott Key even used the word "slave" itself in the song.
"A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave'"
The lyrics praised war, tyranny and atrocities.
"And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air."
"That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion."
And at the time in 1814 when the national anthem was written, slavery was not abolished yet, so the state of America was a widely oppress one. So how could it have been the "land of the free" based on the national anthem?
"O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."
The discrepancies in those lyrics and how was it a home of the brave? When the Ku Klux Klan were hiding behind white sheets, left burning crosses on Black people's property, burned down Black churches, conducted public and mass lynching of Black people. How is that brave? But an act of cowardice. And even today with police brutality, killing innocent Black men and the justice system who fail them. How Sway?!!!
Does Colin Kaepernick have a point of reason for his actions? Hmmm, my answer is yes and I learned something new because of it. The national anthem was written by a lawyer, Francis Scott Key who enslaved the rights of others to be free and felt that Black people were inferior to him. So, how can any Black person honor a song like that? The energy of it is not a blessing to them but one that would rather oppress them for who you are. A song written by a lawyer who failed to stand up for the rights of others but wrote a song to criticize them for standing up for themselves in 1814.
In disagreeing with Colin Kaepernick, be willing to do some research and you'll be more effective in your debates. In researching as well, you'll discover the truth. Instead of burning his jerseys and reacting based on emotions, try to see his point of view and where he is coming from. The least anybody can do is to try to understand and have an open mind to do so. There's even a petition to eradicate the national anthem because of its racist structure.