I have never in my life recited the Pledge of Allegiance. I don’t sing along to the national anthem. I stand sporadically. As a child I was aware of the hypocritical nature of a Black girl child celebrating the nation that enslaved my ancestors, and continued to prey on my people via housing policy, education policy, and state sponsored violence. But now the next sports event I attend, I will intentionally sit during the national anthem as a show of support for Colin Kaepernick.
On Saturday news broke that Colin Kaepernick, a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, sat during the national anthem before the game he played in. When asked about it, Kaepernick explained that he was sitting because many of the ideals celebrated by the Star Spangled Banner don’t apply to Black folks and other people of color. On Sunday Kap further expounded on his stance as well as his plans to continue to sit. This was not the first time Kap sat during the national anthem at a game, but it was the first time anyone noticed.
The backlash was swift and angry. Searching @Kaepernick7, or Kaepernick on Twitter will reveal an ambush of white supremacist insults of Kap and some threats. The majority of the football media was swift in their critique, and those critiques often ignored the issues Kap spoke about, like the extrajudicial killings of Black and Brown people. Instead they spoke about the military, as if Kap’s explanations somehow disrespected the military( they didn’t). But that relationship is not far fetched, as professional sports teams received tons of money to serve as a publicity arm of the US armed forces. Also absent was any comment on the issues Kap brought up.
Kap was eloquent, and empassioned and demonstrated an understanding of the issues he spoke about. A quick glance at his social media will reveal that Kap has long been moved by recent events and been paying attention. His fearlessness about how this will impact his own career is truly impressive.
By sitting Kap is taking a stand, and a side. Unlike the banana boat crew of Lebron, Melo, DWade & Chris Paul who opened the Espy’s with a vague statement about violence. Kap is saying this is wrong and needs to change. The THIS is the devaluing of Black lives by the State. And I applaud him, so does Mama Tina.
#StayBlack Brother. ✊🏾