Colin Kaepernick Actions Analysis
The discussion topic stems from some of the major concepts discussed in chapter 1, such as justice (fairness), tranquility (peace), democracy (government of, for and by the people) as well as liberty (freedom). As you read chapter 1 think about when some of these fundamental concepts we as American cherish collide? Also think about some of the changes that have and are taking place in the United States amidst Covid-19. Does governments actions contradict our individual rights?
Colin Kaepernick was a starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers during the 2016-2017 football year. He sparked controversy not just in the NFL but in the United States by kneeling during the national anthem. During the 2017-2018 football season, he was a free agent and was not picked by a team. He also failed to be picked up by a team in the 2018-2019 season as well. Some argue that he simply is not good at his job while argue that it has everything to do with his controversial stance during the previous football season. Last year, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback agreed to quietly settle his lawsuit accusing the NFL of colluding to prevent him from securing a contract as a free agent.
Inspired by current events, let’s revisit the issue. The link below is a YouTube video of Kaepernick explaining his views. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ka0446tibig#action=share
A few days after Kaepernicks interview, the Santa Clara Police Officers Association (SCPOA) sent a letter to the 49ers organization requesting that they take action against their employee, Colin Kaepernick, for his recent statements and behavior towards police officers.
The SCPOA suggested that if the 49ers did not address his behavior, members of the union might choose to not work Levi’s Stadium events.
“Many of us in the law enforcement community have been saddened and angered by Kaepernick’s words and actions. His blanket statements disparaging the law enforcement profession are hurtful and do not help bring the country together. As distasteful as his actions are, these actions are protected by the Constitution. Police officers are here to protect the rights of every person, even if we disagree with their position. Police officers have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution.
In Santa Clara we are fortunate to have excellent police-community relations that are built on trust and mutual respect. We have gone to great lengths to engage with our community to listen and understand their needs. As the Chief of Police, I am committed to continuing the relationships we have with our residents.
The men and women of the Santa Clara Police Department are highly trained and professional law enforcement officers. The safety of our community is our highest priority. I will urge the POA leadership to put the safety of our citizens first. I will work with both sides to find a solution. In the meantime, I will ensure we continue to provide a safe environment at Levi’s Stadium.”
What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you agree with Colin’s opinions? Do you agree with Colin’s actions? Do you agree with the opinions and potential actions of the Santa Clara Police Department? Please recognize that there is a distinction between opinions and actions.
What are your thoughts on the matter?
The issue of racism in the United States is highly divisive, with some people believing that racism is still deep-rooted in the country’s system and others holding the opinion that the country accords all the residents equal liberties regardless of their race. I believe that America, at its current state, does not represent the values that a held by the constitution. There is still a long way to go to achieve equality and justice for all races in the country. It is not only the African Americans who decry their denial of rights. The whites, too, though highly divided on the matter, do recognize the fact that the African-Americans remain oppressed. There is a need to rally support towards the Black Lives Matter Movement not only for the good of the African-Americans but also for the greater good of the entire nation. The claims of racism in America have a great impact on her reputation and moral standing globally.
Do you agree with Colin’s opinions?
I do agree with Colin’s opinions. Colin opines that standing up for the anthem is an indicator that one takes pride in the national flag (Woodward and Mindock). Most African-Americans do not have pride in the country’s flag as they do not enjoy equal privileges as white Americans. Therefore, it would be pretentious to show pride in the flag of a country that one believes has racist tendencies. Ideally, Colin might not be oppressed. However, most African-Americans who are not of his status may not be in a position to enjoy most of the rights that he does. Standing up for the anthem, is, therefore, in my opinion, a betrayal of the entire African-American race. I support Colin’s claim that showing pride for the American flag is a selfish act.
Do you agree with Colin’s actions?
Colin’s actions indicate a high level of courage that is not often displayed in public. All that Colin did by his action is exercising his freedom of expression. Even though the NFL players are encouraged to stand up for the anthem, the constitution does not state it as a requirement. Indeed, under the First Amendment, the players reserve a right not to be punished whenever they kneel during the anthem (Woodward and Mindock). Colin, therefore, acted under the American constitution’s provisions. By his actions, he sacrificed his status and career for a greater course.
The action of Colin became even more sensible amid the Covid-19 pandemic when Floyd faced brutal police killing. If only America had read the relevance of Colin’s actions, then, the country would probably not have faced the backlash occasioned by Floyd’s killing. I feel that it is the kneeling on the ground that should have risen awareness as opposed to the loss of life. It is quite unfortunate that some of the people who criticized Colin for his action felt the weight of racism only when Floyd was killed.
Do you agree with the opinions and potential actions of the Santa Clara Police Department?
The Santa Clara Police Department is of the opinion that all the NFL players must stand during the anthem. In a letter to the 49ers, the department requested that the organization take action against Colin. I do not agree with their opinion that an organization should punish employees who fail to stand up for the anthem. This would be a breach of their constitutional rights that grant them freedom of expression. Failure to stand up indicates that an employee holds a different opinion and such ought not to attract any penalties. Similarly, I do not agree with their potential actions, which would see the union withdrawing the members from working in Levi’s Stadium events. I believe that the police have a responsibility to all the citizens regardless of their opinions or interests.
Woodward, Alex, and Clark Mindock. Taking a knee: Why are NFL players protesting, and when did they start to kneel? 18 June 2020. 11 July 2020. <https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/taking-a-knee-national-anthem-nfl-trump-why-meaning-origins-racism-us-colin-kaepernick-a8521741.html>.