August 28, 2016

Colin Kaepernick Takes A Courageous Stand

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers:
I am not going to stand up [for the national anthem] 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. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder. ...

This is not something that I am going to run by anybody. I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. ... If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.
49ers coach Chip Kelly said that Kaepernick's decision was "his right as a citizen ... It's not my right to tell him not to do something."

The NFL released a statement: "Players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem."

The playing of the national anthem before sporting events is anachronistic and I would heartily welcome the end of this tradition. We don't expect most people to stand for the anthem before they begin their jobs, why professional athletes? It's stupid and pointless and a waste of time.


allan said...

Colin Kaepernick Is Righter Than You Know: The National Anthem Is a Celebration of Slavery

Jon Schwarz, The Intercept:

"Almost no one seems to be aware that even if the U.S. were a perfect country today, it would be bizarre to expect African-American players to stand for 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' Why? Because it literally celebrates the murder of African-Americans."

Jim said...

And when you play the Blue Jays you get a 2-fer. Utter nonsense. Cut out all the pre-game BS and play ball. That includes everybody still doing the GBA crap in the 7th too. Hustle in, hustle out boys, we got a game to play.

Maxwell Horse said...

I haven't dared listen to sports radio's take on the Kaepernick thing. (It will no doubt be stomach churning.) But I guarantee the collective frothing-at-the-mouth response will reveal just how full of shit they all are when they make their rote praise of Martin Luther King every time that holiday rolls along.

Steve said...

Couldn't disagree more. I expect the Canadian anthem at hockey games, and US at baseball. The national anthem is about what unites people, not what divides. These blanket statements, saying that the US national anthem is a celebration of slavery, does nothing but dishonor those of all races that gave their lives for civil rights. Kaepernick in his stance dishonors the majority of policemen who are good people, protecting and serving the public. See it however you wish, but I look at the flag and see a country with a government that provides an opportunity to make things better. You don't see that everywhere.

Maxwell Horse said...

The thing that makes America (potentially) great, is the allowance for its citizenry to hold the government and those in authority accountable for those times that it errs, for those times in which the public good isn't being served. Dissent and protest are inherently patriotic. The country was founded on those principles, and it can only continue to thrive and exist as a nation to be admired under those principles.

The police are citizens like all of us. To hold them to a different standard of accountability--which all too frequently happens--is not only inherently un-American, but just plain wrong.

Steve said...

Maxwell, you are right. Police are citizens and need to be accountable for their actions (politicians too!). Kaepernick's protest is directed at how police treat African-Americans, as if they are being directly targeted. That is a media myth, created to sell advertising. Statistics show far more White and Hispanic suspects are killed by police. Doesn't make any of these killings just means that the foundation of his argument is flawed. Kaepernick is welcome to do whatever he wants, but in the end is only contributing to what the media wants.

allan said...

Dave Zirin:
"It is also pathetic that so many in the sports media, who a few months ago were praising the legacy of Muhammad Ali, are coming down so ferociously on Colin Kaepernick. As if sports and politics can mix only in the past tense, and racism is something that can only be discussed as a historical question."

allan said...

Statistics show far more White and Hispanic suspects are killed by police.

The white population is five times larger than the black population. So, as in baseball with simple counting stats, you need to provide something extremely important: context. Which, fortunately, the Washington Post has already done:


In 2015, The Washington Post launched a real-time database to track fatal police shootings, and the project continues this year. As of Sunday, 1,502 people have been shot and killed by on-duty police officers since Jan. 1, 2015. Of them, 732 were white, and 381 were black (and 382 were of another or unknown race).

But as data scientists and policing experts often note, comparing how many or how often white people are killed by police to how many or how often black people are killed by the police is statistically dubious unless you first adjust for population.

According to the most recent census data, there are nearly 160 million more white people in America than there are black people. White people make up roughly 62 percent of the U.S. population but only about 49 percent of those who are killed by police officers. African Americans, however, account for 24 percent of those fatally shot and killed by the police despite being just 13 percent of the U.S. population. As The Post noted in a new analysis published last week, that means black Americans are 2.5 times as likely as white Americans to be shot and killed by police officers.

U.S. police officers have shot and killed the exact same number of unarmed white people as they have unarmed black people: 50 each. [JoS Note: I assume they mean in 2016.] But because the white population is approximately five times larger than the black population, that means unarmed black Americans were five times as likely as unarmed white Americans to be shot and killed by a police officer [in 2016].