Discrimination Protest Puts San Francisco 49er Fan Spirit Into Question
Ever since Friday’s preseason NFL game featuring the San Francisco 49ers versus the Green Bay Packers, I’ve been hesitant to post to social media with the usual smack talking enthusiasm I normally have when taunting my fellow football maniacs. There’s been more attention paid to what happened on the bench than what occurred during the game as Colin Kaepernick decided to sit out the National Anthem in protest of police shootings and discrimination. His actions had a lot of negative repercussions that I wasn’t prepared to deal as the backlash took social media by storm and left me conflicted on whether or not I could still unabashedly support my favorite football team. But as I thought it through this past week, and began to gather my thoughts as I chimed in on a few posts discussing the issue, I have finally come to terms with the situation.
Don’t Throw Out The Good With The Bad
The conflict lies in the fact that I really don’t want to proudly fly the colors of a team that can’t proudly fly mine. Regardless of whatever organization I choose to be a part of, I will always first and foremost be an American, and nothing can change that. Yes, America has her problems, but who doesn’t? The bottom line is that there are too many accomplishments to be proud of to toss them aside when things unavoidably do go wrong.
Furthermore, I agree that wrongful police shootings need to be answered for… when they are wrong. But just because you’re black and the officer is white doesn’t make it wrong. There are instances where certain officers have exceeded their authority, and those individuals, and they alone, should be made to pay, not every officer who dons the uniform.
Where things get even more complicated is that, I also recognize that one of the things that make our country so great is that you can protest, and speak out when things are going awry. To me, this alone is reason enough to stand up and show respect for a country that gives you that right. Even when you are wrong.
You Can’t Fight Hate With Hate, It Only Leads To Further Discrimination
That’s right Kap, you are wrong. It’s bad enough you degrade every police officer for the actions of a few, but now you have disrespected an entire nation for those actions as well. You are exhibiting a bias, are stereotyping, and promoting bigotry, not against a race, but an entire population of law enforcement based on the actions of a few. This is the same type of stereotyping, and discrimination you claim you are fighting against. You can’t fight hate with hate, you can only escalate it. And Mr. Kaepernick, your actions only work to increase tensions between blacks and police officers as it encourages more anti-police behavior and discrimination, even against good, law abiding officers who do great things for their communities, but have been thrown under the bus by people like you and organizations like Black Lives Matter, simply for wearing the same uniform as those who have acted above the law. Not all police are bad, any more than all blacks are bad. So shame on you for insinuating that they are. And doubly shame on you for lumping the rest of America, and everything she’s accomplished, in with them, by disrespecting our nation as whole by refusing to stand for our anthem.
Saving The Good, Tossing The Bad: Go Niners!
As I grew to understand the reason why I had such a problem with what occurred at the 49er game, I finally realized my beef was with Colin Kaepernick, not the team as a whole. To hold the entire San Francisco 49er organization accountable for his actions is no better than his holding all of America accountable for the actions of a few individuals, and I refuse to stoop to his level of discrimination.
So as the preseason winds to a close and we get ready for another great year of football, if you follow me on social media, you will once again start seeing my posts supporting the greatest team in football, but it will be without any support for Colin Kaepernick. The t-shirt I own with his name on it is destined for the rag bin. Because if he can’t show respect for my banner, I can’t show respect for his. #GONINERS and #GOAMERICA!