San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did not stand for the playing of the national anthem before his team’s preseason game Friday against the Green Bay Packers.You won't have to go very far to find blog posts and other bits of raving-ass lunacy calling for Kaepernick to be deported or even shot. Because for those people, "freedom of speech and freedom of expression" are like the words that they mouth in church: Utterly meaningless outside of that context, words to be revered, but never followed.
After the game, he told NFL Media in an exclusive interview that he is "not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”
"To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way,” he told NFL Media. "There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
Freedom of speech and expression covers the words, art and gestures that make people uncomfortable. If not, if there is only "approved" speech and conduct that others agree with, then there is no freedom.
And it is pretty ironic, is it not, that the same groups of people who have been railing about "academic safe spaces" and "trigger words" as being contrary to freedom of speech are now so ready to deny that same freedom to Kaepernick.
I do not agree with what Kaepernick did. But he has the right to not stand. Those calling for him to be sanctioned somehow are hypocrites, to say the least.