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Kaepernick – sitting when he should have been standing

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San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick is making headlines across the country, but not for his dazzling rushing yards or pinpoint passing. He may be the first quarterback in football history who has become a media sensation for sitting on the bench.

In a recent game between the 49ers and Green Bay Packers Kaepernick refused to stand up for the playing of the National Anthem in protest of what he considers mistreatment of African Americans and minorities in the United States.

The 49ers lost the game, but Kaepernick may have lost more because while it is a noble thing to stand up for African Americans and minorities it is not a good thing to sit down during the playing of the National Anthem. A new commandment I give to you: Thou shalt not respect one group if at the same time it causes you to disrespect others.

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneels during the National Anthem Thursday night in San Diego. Screen grab via ESPN San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneels during the National Anthem Thursday night in San Diego. Screen grab via ESPN

Kaepernick, 28, was interviewed after the game by NFL media and said, “I am 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. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

The San Francisco quarterback is not the first athlete to register a protest against the civil unrest that has become commonplace in America, but in his attempt to support minorities he seems to have forgotten all the men and women who have fought and died to give him the freedom to register his dissent.

Kaepernick is biracial and was adopted by white parents. If his protest was against racism and police violence it seems his action was out of place given his adoptive parents are white.

Kaepernick’s recent protests on social media and his refusal to stand during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner appear to coincide with his budding relationship with hip hop DJ and MTV host Nessa Diab. She is of Egyptian descent and has frequently spoken about perceived racial injustices and “Islamaphobia” in the U.S.

Social media switch

Fox News reported, “Kaepernick has posted 170 photos or videos on his Instagram account in the four years since he created it. Most of his first 128 posts were pictures of him in football gear, publicity photos, or shots taken with friends.

“But 31 of his last 42 posts have strong social justice connotations, often featuring quotes from radical Nation of Islam leader Malcolm X, Black Panthers founder Huey Newton, and cop killer Assata Shakur.

“During a Sunday news conference about the flag flap, Kaepernick dressed in a black hat with a large, white ‘X’ and a T-shirt that featured photos of Cuban despot Fidel Castro and Malcolm X.”

Kaepernick’s recent actions and communications seem to be indicative of a dramatic change in his life. He appears to be manifestly unlike the successful quarterback who took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2013.

One of the obvious features people noticed about the 49er quarterback three years ago was his arm tattoos, revealing his favorite Bible verses.

The NFL bans Bible verses on eyeblack or uniforms, but Kaepernick solved that problem by covering his arms with his favorite passages of Scripture. The verses include Psalm 27:3, which reads, “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”

On the other arm is Psalm 18:39: “You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me.” Kaepernick told former NFL quarterback Kurt Warner in an interview, “ just my way of showing everybody that this is what I believe in.”

The Christian Post reported Kaepernick explaining his tattoos by saying, “Basically, it’s saying the Lord is giving me all the tools to be successful, I just have to go out and do my part to uphold that."

According to his father, the QB "was baptized as a Methodist, confirmed Lutheran, and went to a Baptist church in Reno.”

Believe in something

I initially thought I would write this editorial and give Kaepernick a good old fashioned whipping and let it be known if he wanted to endorse “Black Lives Matter” that he should make a generous contribution to help disadvantaged black lives. However, I found out that he will be donating the first $1 million of his 2016 salary to various community organizations to help the underprivileged.

I also found out that although he knelt down rather than stand during the National Anthem at San Francisco’s most recent game with San Diego (which still disturbs me) that he was seen applauding military families when they were recognized during the game, and also standing and applauding for God Bless America.

The 49er organization reported that after the San Diego game Kaepernick met with former Green Beret and long snapper Nate Boyer to discuss ways to maintain his protest while also making it clear he supports the military.

So, while it would be easy to castigate Kaepernick for his actions and while I am tempted to do so, I think the best thing to do is pray for him. I am praying that he will not be influenced by some quick stop, hot shot, hip hop Egyptian disc jockey with destructive ideologies, but by someone who has a rock solid faith in Jesus Christ.

Kaepernick apparently has a background of faith and has or perhaps has had a desire to acknowledge God in his life, so I have decided to pray for him to reject any unclean spirit, renew his faith in Jesus Christ, and use his influence for good and for God.

Incidentally, criticize Colin Kaepernick all you want to, but he was sitting because he believed in something. Most of our sitting is not because we believe in something, but because we are alarmingly apathetic. Find something righteous and just and stand up for it!

Colin Kaepernick, culture, football, national anthem, San Francisco

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