My Apologies to Colin Kaepernick

A while back, I implied that Colin Kaepernick's refusing to stand for the National Anthem may have been in part a strategy to avoid being cut from the 49ers.

I apologize.  Even if that were true -- and it was pure speculation on my part -- he has done everyone in this country a favor.  Until a month ago, there was no ceremony much more empty than the pro forma singing of the National Anthem at sporting events.  As I wrote before,

I am not a big fan of enforced loyalty oaths and patriotic rituals, finding these to historically be markers of unfree societies.  For these sorts of rituals to have any meaning at all, they have to be voluntary, which means that Kaepernick has every right to not participate, and everyone else has every right to criticize him for doing so, and I have the right to ignore it all as tedious virtue-signalling.

In the past, people stood for the national anthem because that is what you do.  Mindlessly.  It was, for many, a brief ritual before you got to the good stuff.  It was singing happy birthday before you got the cake. (I am speaking for the majority of us, I know there are folks who have always approached the anthem as a deep and solemn rite).

But this weekend, suddenly, and perhaps for the first time at a ball game, everybody who stood up for the National Anthem at an NFL game likely thought about it for a second.  They were not standing just because that was what everyone else was doing, they were standing (or sitting) to make some sort of statement, and what exactly that statement was took a bit of thought.  Standing for a ceremony that has 100% dutiful participation means zero.  Standing for a ceremony with even a small number of folks who refuse has a lot more meaning.

So thanks, Colin.

  • marque2

    Well it worked, he wasn't cut. And now we have another issue. I don't watch entertainment to be nagged at about progressive or conservative causes. I go to be entertained. If like the Olympics and TV award shows, they decide to preach at me, I just won't watch and will move my entertainment interests elsewhere.

    Interestingly, the other two venues I mentioned seemed to have lost consideration viewers as the preaching got worse. I suspect it will be the same for the NFL.

    Yes thanks Colin, due to gross selfish interests for ruining another form of entertainment for America. And thanks Warren for calling you blog viewers mindless. So many things to be thankful for!

  • Rick Caird

    I argue that when sponsorship and fan revenue drops, the NFL will take action to squash this.

  • John Moore

    As an American and as a veteran, there is nothing mindless about my standing for the national anthem. And, as a veteran, I served so low lifes like Kaepernick have the right to make their loathesome, stupid protest without government interference. And, for the right of everyone else to criticize this slime ball and boycott the NFL.

  • Ray


    This is one of the most absurd posts I've ever read on this blog. Every time I hear the national anthem during a sports event it brings tears to my eyes. Your mind can't help but drift back to the men and women who have given their lives...

    Maybe for you i'ts meaningless trite, but please do not presume to speak for everyone.

  • Peabody

    "I am speaking for the majority of us". How would you know that?

  • TruthisaPeskyThing

    Sponsorship and fan revenue will not drop. The subject may annoy people, and it may lead to more arguments and division, but it is not big enough to stop watching football.

  • Rick Caird

    And, how does that differ from what I said. Oh, wait, it doesn't except you only took one side.

  • ErikTheRed

    The good news is that this subject (and BLM) are apparently going to get the analytical treatment they deserve:

  • Rick C

    "In the past, people stood for the national anthem because that is what you do. Mindlessly."

    Maybe if you're the kind of open-borders person who doesn't think there's much good about this country.

    Some of us value the US and actually stand for the anthem because we believe in this country.

  • SamWah

    Same for me, and my continuing years with the Boy Scouts.

  • tommy ex thom w ex tomw

    On the rare occasions I have been in attendance, the playing of the anthem was ALWAYS a remembrance of friends I'd served with, and who we are as American citizens. It was never 'commonplace' to be ignored.
    This player is a coward, making false protest at no risk to his person or paycheck. His 'protest' is the most insipid thing ever considered a protest. And, he's a fool. He might want to consider on which side his bread is buttered. The fans and sponsors may not accept his stupidity without repercussion. He is legal, but, perhaps, stupid to insult so many of his customers.

  • Aggie

    For anyone who would stand through the National Anthem and not be quietly thankful and reflective - they already owe an apology, if nothing more than a silent commitment to do better.

    Otherwise - nobody owes any apology to Colin Kaepernick or any other self-involved P.O.S. who puts their own self-interested prejudices ahead of their patriotism - especially on the anniversary of 911.
    I've already stopped watching NFL and encourage others to do so as well. Take the time to let your former team know why. You probably won't miss it as much as you think.

  • J K Brown

    It's good to think about these things that become rote. Some years back, I gave real thought to the Pledge of Allegiance and stopped pledging allegiance to the flag. I owe no allegiance to the flag, I own my allegiance to the Constitution. Should that flag come to represent a country or government that is not of the Constitution, I owe nothing to the flag or government.

    "I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, and to the republic that it governs, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

    Now, imagine if every Congressional session was opened with that pledge rather than one to a flag that may or may not represent the true sovereign, the People, in the United States.

  • ano333

    Something interesting I learned about this recently was that it has only been 10 years or so since NFL players were actually on the field for the national anthem (I can't find the actual dates in google searching). Prior to that, the anthem was played while they were still in the locker rooms...

  • GoneWithTheWind

    There is a difference between not participating and anti-participating. If you asked a group to observe a terrible tragedy by observing a moment of silence and someone spent the entire time shouting obscenities that would clearly bot be a case of simply not participating. Kaepernick dislikes/hates America/Americans and wants to shout it from the tree tops. It is indeed his right but by telling us all to go F ourselves it should be no surprise that we use our right to not just refuse to accept his insult but als demand that the NFL either stop this or lose viewership. I'm thinking we need alternatives to football for sports fans. Something where the highly paid and spoiled players don't give us the finger. I will watch no more 49'ers games until Kaepernick is gone. If this sillyness spreads to other teams I will do the same for them. Perhaps I will rent a netflix movie instead of watching football.

  • marque2

    Your complaint happens a lot on the Internet. Yeah, the guy didn't say anything new. He just thinks that Colin's transgressions aren't bad enough yet. But it will get worse. Now I am irritated that players who directly or indirectly get money from me are being disrespectful, maybe that is not enough. When we get the dancing half-time shows in honor of black lives matter, more will disappear. The $15 wage arm patches, we should all be green brought to you by the NFL ads, etc - older people will start meandering to other entertainment. It is a slippery slope, once an organization decides it should placate the left wing causes, because they think that is what their fans want, it quickly goes downhill.