San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been causing controversy in the media recently. However, he is doing it for a good reason. One thing that people might not understand about Colin Kaepernick is that he has the right to speak his mind especially when it comes to race relations in this country. Black professional athletes should not be afraid to speak up when they see something wrong. As an individual, I respect Colin Kaepernick for standing up for what he believes in similar to the way Muhammad Ali spoke out against his will to fight in the Vietnam War. Even though Colin Kaepernick did not suffer the same consequences that Muhammad Ali did for speaking out against the injustices occurring during the 1960s, I think he still did a good job of opening up dialogue among the public. Getting the public to think critically about racial issues in America continues to become an ongoing struggle, but these conversations are necessary if we ever want to reach the root cause of this problem. Having the ability to speak one’s mind intellectually is a skill that should be embraced. Just like the saying goes “Leaders are made, not born.”
Unfortunately, many black athletes that speak out against racial discrimination are looked down upon in our society. It is easy for an athlete to ignore the issues that affect black people on a daily basis. Colin Kaepernick was brave enough in identifying an issue that many other athletes are afraid to speak out about because they do not want to lose endorsements or their ability to ever play again. In my opinion, one similar characteristic that exist between Colin Kaepernick and Muhammad Ali is that their willingness to go against the status quo and suffer the consequences. He knew that the issue of race was bigger than football and made a conscious decision to sit during the national anthem. Also, Colin Kaepernick understood what the American flag truly represents. Therefore, he was not going to salute a flag that represents oppression and racial hatred black people continue to face in this country on a daily basis.
Colin Kaepernick sets a very clear example of an individual that symbolizes integrity, truth, and justice. He should be acknowledged for speaking truth to power when it is needed the most. Black people should take the time to understand his views on racism and police brutality before judging him. The issue that I have is that black people are misinformed about certain issues that happen in this country through the media and do not take the time to do their own research. At least, Colin Kaepernick is making an effort to educate the public about the untold history behind the National Anthem and how detrimental it continues to become for black and brown people in America. I am not surprised that many people took it the wrong way, but I support him for standing up and telling it like it is. People could learn a lot from this man if we took more time to pay attention to what he has to say.
Check out the Youtube video below from a recent interview that expresses his feelings about the ongoing struggles of racial injustice in America: