Stop Calling Kaepernick un-American


Abby Hissong, Editor-in-Chief

Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49’ers, has recently chosen to take a stand against police brutality in America by sitting during the national anthem played before every football game. When asked why he didn’t stand, Kaepernick was quoted saying ,”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.”

Not unexpectedly, this action has already caused people all over the country to take up arms against Kaepernick. Immediately people took to the internet, calling for the 49’ers to suspend Kaepernick for his ‘unpatriotic actions’ as well as several fans uploading videos of themselves burning his jersey in protest.

When it comes down to it, no matter how you feel about Kaepernick’s actions, he has just as much of a right to sit during the national anthem as you have to hate him for it. Who are we to tell any player, or person for that matter, how to honor or not honor their country?

This is what the men and women who serve our country have defended here and overseas- Kaepernick’s right to sing the national anthem at the top of his lungs and his right to choose not to honor it at all. As long as he isn’t interfering with anyone else’s right to make their own choices, what’s the problem here?

To clear the air, I don’t agree with Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the National anthem, but I do respect what he is trying to accomplish. African-American athletes are often asked (perhaps, unfairly) to speak out on social issues, and well, he just did. If you don’t agree with what Kaepernick did or said, that’s your prerogative. But saying that what he said and did was “un-American” is to lose sight of what it mean to be an American.

In some countries, Kaepernick might face prison time or worse for his actions. So, to the people that are upset by the fact that he didn’t stand, ask yourself this: would you rather live in a country where you are forced to stand for your flag? By not standing, Kaepernick is simply exercising his right as an American citizen and voicing his opinion on a matter he feels strongly about. Instead of being seen as offensive, Kaepernick’s actions should remind us all that the U.S. is a pretty great place to live.