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.”