Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, is quickly becoming the talk of the nation. A firestorm has blown up across the internet as police unions call for his firing, fans burn his jersey, and political pundits on the left and the right denounce him. Lest we forget, a slew of veterans and military, apparently clueless to the oath they swore to protect it, came out of the woodwork to bash this man for his free speech.
Amidst all the hatred, however, rational thought and logic are breaking through. Tuesday night #VeteransforKaepernick began trending and veterans who honor and protect free speech took to Twitter to show their support.
While there were tons of great tweets about the hypocrisy of expressing the desire to silence a man for standing against corruption, one post, in particular, absolutely nailed it.
As a former Marine, I am in multiple Facebook groups with other veterans with whom I served. In one of those groups, a status was posted that blew me away. As I started reading, I thought to myself, "oh no, this is probably some hate piece against Kaepernick." However, as I read on, the logical argument laid out about forcing people to respect songs, flags, and even the state was, dare I say, enlightening.
As not to ruin the brilliantly written post by retired Naval officer Jim Wright, I will stop here, and let you read it for yourself.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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."
I've been away from the internet all day.
I came home from a family picnic on the Blackwater River to find my inbox, as usual, overflowing like a ripe Port-O-Pottie.
One of the first messages I read was about 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, quoted above, who last Friday night at the beginning of a preseason game suddenly decided to become the most hated man in America du jour by deliberately not standing for the National Anthem.
Yes, that's right, a football player didn't stand for the National Anthem.
As you know, this means Kaepernick is scum, a horrible human being, a likely member of ISIS, a Muslim terrorist, a black thug, a communist, a socialist (and not the cool share your weed Bernie Sanders kind of socialist but the Red Brigade kind of Socialist who sleeps under a poster of Chairman Mao), a radical, a Black Panther, and he probably has Fidel Castro's phone number in his contact favorites.
I answered the message and went on to the next one.
The next message was about Kaepernick. As was the next one. And the next one. And…