We get it. We really do. You’re exhausted when it comes to Colin Kaepernick takes, both good and bad. He chose to remain seated during the U.S. national anthem Friday, and now it’s Tuesday, so you’re tired of hearing the word “freedom” from people like Drew Brees and Tony Stewart that don’t seem to understand what it means.
There are only so many ways to hear, “That flag represents the freedom many people fought and died for, so please, stop exercising that freedom to protest at a sports game,” and then hear the same rebuttal which always boils down to, “Seriously, you can’t be this stupid.”
But maybe, just maybe, ESPN’s Stan Verrett formulated the perfect explanation for why Kaepernick did what he did and that will lead to a universal understanding of the situation.
On SportsCenter, Verrett said:
“I’ve always stood for the anthem because I believe in the promise of America, what the flag is supposed to symbolize even though America often falls short of what it’s supposed to symbolize. I mean, my dad served in the Army, dealt with discrimination in the Army, came back from his service in World War II and was not afforded the same rights as a U.S. citizen after his service, so don’t talk to me about sacrifice and the military. My mom was the valedictorian of her high school, couldn’t go to college in Louisiana and other mainstream universities because they were segregated. They didn’t want to hear about her grades. You can’t go because you’re black.
“There’s still (discriminatory) problems in housing, hiring, the justice system. These are real problems. People aren’t making this up and they’re trying to find ways to speak out about it. You’re not always going to agree with the method. But let’s pay as much attention to the substance as we do to the symbol.”
That’s a clear, concise, strong argument for why you maybe shouldn’t clutch your pearls because a sports man didn’t stand for 90 seconds and look at a piece of cloth during a song. There are some real problems, and Verrett eloquently explained in front of a large audience that probably is thankful for the education on a topic that may be hard to comprehend for… hang on, I’m being told people replied en masse to Verrett on Twitter after this. Let’s go read those messages of thanks and appreciation.
Hmmm. No. That’s not it. Maybe there are other tweets.
Change won’t come in a week, so .. this was bad?
Let me scroll over that Twitter profile… ah, a Donald Trump header. Sad!
“I take action with a radio show you have most definitely never heard of!”
Let’s cap this tweet rundown with a classic your/you’re mistake from a person saying you are wrong about something.
It must be pretty great to see a protest led by a black person or black people and say, “This isn’t the right way to do it” because the people who say that never offer other methods because, and let’s be real, they will be mad/offended at any form of protest. March, sit-in, blockade, you name it. Meanwhile, didn’t Kaepernick find the literal best way to do it? It’s non-violent, all it required was not standing during a song, and it has created a five-day national discussion about race that would not be happening otherwise.
But tell me again how this is bad because he didn’t honor a flag. Something is genuinely messed up in this country when a large segment of the population gets more angry about the feelings of an inanimate object than the discrimination against living people.