Anthem of the Sun

This whole story with Colin Kaepernick reminds me of a personal story.  Are kids still required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day in public school?  Like most people reading this, the pledge was a daily ritual for me in homeroom each morning.

In high school, I became uncomfortable having to recite it because of the “under god” line.  I didn’t believe in god and it bothered me that I had to say something that I didn’t believe in every day.  I still stood up but would not say the words.  Eventually, my homeroom teacher noticed that I wasn’t saying the pledge and yelled at me and told me I had to say it.  I didn’t argue with him or try to explain my objections.  You think being a non-believer is “out there” now?  It was really frowned upon by society thirty years ago.

I decided that I would start saying the pledge again but not the words, “under god”.  No one was going to make me say that.  My homeroom teacher would look at me to make sure I was reciting the pledge but never noticed my omission every day. Isn’t it funny how we can take little gestures like saying a few words or not standing for the anthem, and make them seem like they are so important?  Again, I would not do what Kaepernick is doing.  It makes me personally uncomfortable.  It also takes a tremendous amount of courage to do what he is doing on a national stage and to subject himself to the level of abuse he is taking.  My bottom line on this is that it’s just not that big of a deal to me.  I often hear from people that we live in a society where everyone is always offended by this or that.  Why choose to be offended by this?  It’s just not that big of a deal.  We have the right to express ourselves and people are not always going to agree with us, and that’s okay.

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11 thoughts on “Anthem of the Sun

  1. “Offends”..Hmm. I think it offends me because although it takes “Courage” to sit there…it is also very easy to do…knowing that you have more money than most people will have in 20 lifetimes. Perhaps he brought “visibility” to this but there’s already a whole bunch of people bringing visibility to this. Did he bring visibility to this or just drive another wedge into the fissure. Maybe he should use his stature to bring people together for a discussion. Kinda like youth sports. Easier to bring a chair to the game and piss and moan that to get involved for the positive (and God knows…sorry 🙂 ) that we need more positives in that arena.
    Regarding all the police situations…keep asking the question “Why does this happen?” and we may get closer to the issue and a resolution but currently it’s all about “Hey look what those guys are doing!!” and they matter more than those guys who matter more than them but less than us.
    Compared to other places in the world we are ahead by a lot more than a century.

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    1. Well, I disagree with at least half of that but that’s okay. That’s partly why I love this topic. I think that it’s so interesting to read and hear the different perspectives on this. I don’t think his money has anything at all to do with it. I do think it takes courage. Not the sitting of course, but subjecting himself to so much negative attention for a cause he believes in. He’s fighting for the underdog(at least in his mind), and I’m always a fan of that. For a different perspective, check out #VeteransForKaepernick on Twitter.

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    2. One other thing that I find interesting. Many people are chiming in with opinions on how he should use his time and his money and that he should try something else instead. I call BS on that. If I’m protesting something legally, who are you or anyone else to tell me to do something else? How would you feel if you protested by doing “A” and I came along and told you, no, you should really be doing “B”? You’d say it’s none of my business, I’m guessing.

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  2. I don’t think he’s bothered by negativity. He received enough of that on the field. So your boo’d for your incompetence on the field or the fact your sitting down during a “song”. I hope he is honest in his efforts.

    Checked out the twitter account. So, i don’t have an issue with the protesting…never had. He wants to do that…great. Go for it. Yes, first amendment is what it’s all about. The role of our government is to provide a venue for that….and it has.

    If I was doing “A” and someone said I should do “B” I would consider what they said and contemplate whether or not B would be more beneficial than A and if yes, would I be able to do it with given resources.
    At this point we’ve heard about a lot of people protesting. Great. Progress…or no. Protesting is fine but…at some point we have to start working on the problem….but let’s face it, sitting down, marching, torching up your neighbors storefront isn’t really going to solve the problem now, is it. It’s definitely going to get air-time. To me It’s about putting the issues out there for discussion but also being very upfront about the various cultures and issues at hand. Right now doesn’t it seem as if it’s all about 1 side being a really bad group?

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    1. I don’t think so. Most reasonable people agree that the majority of law enforcement do a good job. Try thinking about what it might be like to be a black man in America, as it relates to the police, though. Ever hear of the phrase, DWB? Driving while black? There is a very real issue. My posts really are not about that though. I was writing about Colin K’s protest and the fallout from it. You said you don’t have an issue with the protesting but you really do seem to, by suggesting he do something else instead. You also said you were offended by it. And that’s fine. I just choose not to be. 🙂

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  3. I don’t really have any issue. If he wants to have a peaceful protest against whatever is his right. I also don’t think everything he has said is unfounded. But.. I read the entire transcript and also agree with some things you would have significant issues with. Probably the most interesting thing is that based on what he has said indicates he likely wouldn’t be willing to give you the same latitude on your religious beliefs that you are willing to afford him on his social beliefs. So.. he has a platform at the moment.. good for him. I don’t give his opinion any more or less credence ( maybe less if I’m being honest ) then a cop, schoolteacher or garbage man.

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    1. Interesting topic, right? It shouldn’t surprise me that so many people have tried to stifle his right to speak out but it still does. His profession does give him the platform but I agree with you that his opinion is no more or less valid, because of his profession, than anyone else’s.

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  4. One consideration I will throw into the mix…technically he was not acting/protesting on his own time. While in uniform he is an employee and represents the interests of the organization. He should have acted accordingly. While I agree he has a right to free speech and peaceful demonstration perhaps it might have been a better decision to do so on his own time and under a different circumstance. He’s not being paid to protest while in his football uniform and I found his actions to be disrespectful of his team, his teammates, and the fans who came to enjoy a game. The entertainment of watching a professional football game is what the fans are paying for, and what his employer is paying him to deliver. He’s not being paid to deliver controversy.

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      1. From Article 23 of the 2011-2020 Collective Bargaining Agreement
        I have no way to verify the accuracy of this alleged section of the NFL players’ contract, but it was posted in response to questions about what players are paid during the pre-season. If it is accurate, Kaepernick was on the clock and being paid .

        Section 2. Room and Board: All players will receive room and board during the pre-season training camp, and housing between training camp and the Tuesday prior to their Club’s first regular season game for those players who have not as yet established residence in the Team city.

        Section 3. First-year Player Per Diem: A first-year player will receive “per diem” payments, commencing with the first day of Preseason Training Camp and ending one week prior to the Club’s first regular season game, at the following weekly rates for the respective League Years: $850 (2011–12 League Years), $925 (2013–14 League Years), $1,000 (2015–16 League Years), $1,075 (2017–18 League Years), $1,150 (2019–20 League Years).

        Section 4. Veteran Per Diem: A veteran player will receive “per diem” payments, commencing with the first day of Preseason Training Camp and ending one week prior to the Club’s first regular season game, at the following weekly rates for the respective League Years: $1,600 (2011–12 League Years), $1,700 (2013–14 League Years), $1,800 (2015–16 League Years), $1,900 (2017–18 League Years), $2,000 (2019–20 League Years).

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      2. That must be right then. I heard a host on GR the other day say they do not get paid but he must have been wrong. Regardless, I have no problem with it and am definitely not offended by it. Does it make him a bad teammate or employee? Interesting questions.

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