NFL

#VeteransForKaepernick, Compulsory Patriotism, Free Speech, and Dissent

Freedom of expression and a tolerance for ideas that might offend are American ideals worth fighting for.

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We remember so much we forgot.
Rob Corbett/Dreamstime.com

I remember watching the 2001 Major League Baseball (MLB) playoffs, weeks after the devastating September 11th terror attacks killed thousands in my home city of New York (as well as hundreds more at the Pentagon and on United Flight 93, which crashed in a Pennsylvania field). The displays of patriotism during the games (and really, everywhere) were ostentatious, but understandable, as the country braced for a war against an enemy we clearly did not understand, with no idea that our response to the horrors unleashed the morning of 9/11/01 would beget horrors in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere that have no resolution in sight a full decade-and-a-half later.

My friends and family each had suffered through the shock and grief of loved ones being wrenched from our lives in sudden and exceptionally cruel fashion. Lower Manhattan smoldered for months as the pile of buildings and bodies burned, emanating an unspeakably foul and unnatural stench the likes of which I had never experienced before but will never forget for as long as I live. The gash in the skyline was a constant reminder that nothing would ever be the same.

Everything stopped, including sports, for about two weeks. People wanted normalcy to return, but everything felt "too soon."

Still, eventually we had to try, and during those first few weeks after, baseball (particularly in New York) provided a venue for shared expressions of grief, unity, and even hope. The New York Mets played the city's first game after the attacks, which culminated in a stirring game-winning Mike Piazza home run that is still cited as an example of "the healing power of sports."

For the rest of the season, the pre-game performances of "The Star Spangled Banner" (a tradition started by the Boston Red Sox during World War I) were rousing, emotional, and cathartic. They frequently featured American flags big enough to fill an entire outfield, as well as special appearances by first responders who survived the collapse of the World Trade Center and family members of the fallen.

Prior to Game 2 of 2001 World Series played by the Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Yankees (who despite being widely-hated outside of New York became America's unlikliest sentimental favorites for that brief period), the national anthem was followed by a soulful and mournful Ray Charles performance of "America the Beautiful." Considering the context of the moment, you'd have to be a pretty hard-hearted person not to be moved by his rendition (to say nothing of the fact that it's a much better song than the "Banner"):

But that's the thing, these moments were special because they were unusual. They were rare. They would lose their meaning if they became expected and demanded displays of a unity which no longer existed, or of a shared patriotism which had become complicated by protracted and unpopular wars.

This is precisely what happened when "God Bless America" became a regular staple of baseball's 7th inning stretch.

In the weeks after 9/11, the performing of Irving Berlin's song was a moment for somber reflection. 15 years later, it's a gratuitous and maudlin interruption which 61 percent of baseball fans would happily do away with. Besides, after the pre-game national anthem, do fans really need to be subjected to what New York Daily News writer Gersh Kuntzman described as a "ponderous Mussolini-esque introduction of the song, when fans are asked to rise, remove their caps and place them over their hearts"?

Peaceful protest
Paul Kitagaki Jr./ZUMA Press/Newscom

That's why the outrage over San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick's hardly unprecedented choice to protest the socially-compulsory tradition of standing for the playing of the national anthem before a professional sports contest feels as forced as the tradition itself.

In response to his decision to sit out the anthem to protest police brutality and systemic racism in his country, the biracial Kaepernick (raised by adoptive white parents) was described by former New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison as not black (or not black enough) to protest on behalf of black people. San Francisco's police union demanded an apology from both the National Football League (NFL) and the 49ers. The Blaze's Tomi Lahren called him a "whiner" and a race-baiter. Fox News' Sean Hannity speculated that Kaepernick might be a secret Muslim.

It is equal parts inexplicable and totally predictable that Hannity — who adores Donald "Make America Great Again" Trump — would take such exception to a rich person implying that America is not great. But whether or not one thinks Kaepernick's protest is opportunistic or disrespectful to the military, one can't argue with the fact that it is a peaceful and constitutionally protected protest, the kind that critics of Black Lives Matter protests insist are the only legitimate modes of expressing dissent.

It's silly to suggest that a marginal player's refusal to stand during a pre-game rendition of a song commemorating the military stalemate of the War of 1812 — and which features lyrics (albeit rarely sung lyrics) valorizing slavery — is somehow as much of an insult to American patriotism and military veterans as say, the NFL's acceptance of millions of dollars in taxpayer money for "paid patriotism" in the form of fighter jet flyovers and other military tributes that are never disclosed to the fans as the commercials for the military that they really are.

When Arizona Cardinals player Pat Tillman famously left a contract worth millions of dollars to enlist in the Army after 9/11, he was lionized as the living embodiment of selfless patriotism and masculine heroism. After he was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan less than three years later, the NFL did everything it could to attach its image to his. But Tillman the man was harder to pigeonhole than Tillman the dead hero. He was a well-read political liberal and atheist who abhorred the war in Iraq (which he fought in) as "illegal and unjust" and "an imperial folly that was doing long-term damage to US interests," according to Jon Krakauer, the author of Where Men Win Glory, the Odyssey of Pat Tillman.

What if Tillman had lived? Would he have chafed at being used by the NFL and the Pentagon as a prop to sell a war he felt was unjust? What would the reaction have been had he decided to sit his heroic ass down during the national anthem to draw attention and support for the idea that he believed the war was wrong and should be stopped?

See, that's the thing, the military is not a monolith, and "heroes" are just people.

Take Jackie Robinson, the universally adored American hero who broke baseball's color barrier in 1947, and who also served in the Army during World War II (though he was never deployed to a combat zone). In Robinson's autobiography I Never Had It Made, the man whose number is the only one retired by all 30 MLB teams wrote of his experience standing for the national anthem during his first World Series game in his rookie season with the Brooklyn Dodgers:

There I was, the black grandson of a slave, the son of a black sharecropper, part of a historic occasion, a symbolic hero to my people. The air was sparkling. The sunlight was warm. The band struck up the national anthem. The flag billowed in the wind. It should have been a glorious moment for me as the stirring words of the national anthem poured from the stands. Perhaps, it was, but then again, perhaps, the anthem could be called the theme song for a drama called The Noble Experiment.

Robinson adds that despite his role in ending segregation in American sport, his reality trumped others sentimentality, and that for him, the anthem couldn't mean what others wanted it to mean for him:

As I write this twenty years later, I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag; I know that I am a black man in a white world. In 1972, in 1947, at my birth in 1919, I know that I never had it made.

Sure, Kaepernick's protest has offended many veterans and their families, and their feelings are not to be discounted. Kaepernick's right to freedom of speech does not grant him the right to be free of criticism.

But just as with Robinson, people are not defined by the images projected upon them, which can be seen through the #VeteransforKaepernick Twitter hashtag, where statements of solidarity with have come from veterans for any number of reasons.

Some explicitly support Kaepernick's motivations:

Some veterans don't want to be used as pawns in other people's political signaling:

Or just his right to protest:

Some just prefer not to be condescended by those who parrot "Support the Troops" when they really only mean "Support the Troops Who Agree with Me Politically":

Kaepernick says he has no plans to discontinue his silent protest at the 49ers' final preseason game tomorrow night in San Diego — a metropolitan area home to a large number of military bases and service-people — on the very night the San Diego Chargers host their "Salute to the Military." Expect the arguments over everything other than what Kaepernick's protest is actually motivated by to continue.

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157 responses to “#VeteransForKaepernick, Compulsory Patriotism, Free Speech, and Dissent

  1. Why isn’t anyone talking about his Fidel Castro shirt?

    1. Seriously? He has one? I thought he was Muslim.

      1. Well, if he’s a Muslim he’s not allowed to have any images on his shirt or his burquini.

      2. So? It’s not an Infidel Castro shirt.

        /is the sort of almost-joke I would make if I were Eddie.

    2. If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao…

      1. AIN’T NO ONE GONNA MAKE WITH YOU ANYHOW!

        1. But what if’n I go carrying pictures of Chairman MEOW? What then, hunh?!?! Will anyone mate with me THEN?!?!? http://www.cafepress.com/dogs_of_war/3998914

          1. you’ll just be pussy whipped…

    3. I pictured him as more of a Che type guy.

    4. That’s the part an elder should probably pull ‘Nick aside and explain to him logic; as in logical consistency. You can’t be talking oppression while wearing a t-shirt with the face of a dictator on it. It comes off not only as infantile but completely smashes credibility.

      Hannity and Harrison are idiots.

    5. “Why isn’t anyone talking about his Fidel Castro shirt?”
      I didn’t noticed the shirt, but if anything, wearing that while protesting against his government is grotesquely silly. If in Cuba, he would had been kicked out of the field by a gang of government thugs posing as “spontaneous outraged people.”

  2. AMERICA IS A TEAM SPORT. THERE IS NO I IN QUITTER.

    Also, football is a team sport. Kaepernick is introducing an unwelcome distraction.

    1. There is an “i,” a “me,” and “rice” in America.

      Damn, i’m hungry for risotto now.

        1. I had some last night, but it wore off, and my kid ate all the leftovers dammit.

          1. Sounds like someone needs to bring back the custom of regular beatings.

            1. Nah, she’s finally got a sophisticated enough palate to appreciate my cooking, and i’d like to encourage that.

          2. Leftover risotto for breakfast is one of my favorites.

      1. How cum there’s no “cum” in America? HOW do the ‘Mericans make babies, if they’n ain’t got no cum?

  3. Forgive me if the article already made this point, but to my knowledge there’s been no threat of *governmental* persecution against Mr. Kopacetic.

    Thus, what he can or cannot do would probably turn on his contract with whatever team he plays for. Or on the Rules of Professional Football.

    This is also part of the American Way – you negotiate agreements in which they promise you some things (buttloads of money) in exchange for other things (kicking the football, or maybe standing for the national anthem as well, I haven’t read the fine print).

    And people can form their own conclusions – I’m inclined to think that the people who stand for the national anthem aren’t necessarily endorsing all the crap the government does – to the contrary.

    But as Burke put it, one looks on the misconduct of one’s own country the way one looks at the wounds of a father – with sorrow, hopefully with a plan to help heal the wounds, but with filial reverence. Even if the old man is kind of a dick sometimes.

    1. He may be allowed to not stand for the anthem, but I’m pretty sure the rules will not allow him to kick the football, being he’s a QB.

      1. Never heard of a quick kick?

        1. Smartass!

          1. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

    2. NFL players are encouraged but not required to stand for the Imperial March.

  4. People saying Kaepernick has a right to speech / protest: of course he does. No one is saying he should be JAILED for not standing at the anthem.

    He is at WORK though, and there is no freedom of speech or protest at work. Your employer *can* fire you for what you say or do at work, so give me a break.

    1. No one is saying he should be JAILED for not standing at the anthem.

      You’ve got a different facebook feed than many of us…

      1. Facebook, eh? I salute your sacrifice.

      2. Haha, yeah. Jailed is pretty mild from what I’ve seen,

    2. The issue could be addressed in his contract as to what behavior is allowed on the field or in the locker-room

  5. Obamacare is totally fixable you guys!

    It’s those darn Republicans that have to step up, admit failure and clean up this mess they caused.

    1. Ah, yes, here is the root of the problem:

      “Such regulatory steps could help in the short term. Permanently fixing the problem, however, will likely require Congress to increase subsidies so that the policies offered on the exchanges will be more attractive to young, healthy workers. There is precedent for Congress adding more money to fix medical programs. The last two big expansions of Medicare ? Medicare Advantage in the 1990s and Medicare Part D in the early 2000s ? both faced what many feared was a death spiral, similar to the concerns Obamacare now faces. But according to a new paper by Jack Hoadley and Sabrina Corlette of Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, Congress raised reimbursements to make those health care markets healthy.”

      1. There is precedent for Congress adding more money to fix medical programs. The last two big expansions of Medicare ? Medicare Advantage in the 1990s and Medicare Part D in the early 2000s ? both faced what many feared was a death spiral, similar to the concerns Obamacare now faces.

        Did either of these measures actually lower the cost of healthcare for everyone after they passed? No? Then fuck off with your NEEDZ MOAR SUBSIDEEZ bullshit, shills.

      2. Just increase the subsidies. It’s worked for college tuition so far!

    2. The way to fix it is to pass a law declaring it repealed.

      1. Hillary says that there’s nothing wrong with it that more of your money cannot fix.

  6. “That’s why the outrage over San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s hardly unprecedented choice to protest the socially-compulsory tradition of standing for the playing of the national anthem before a professional sports contest feels as forced as the tradition itself.”

    BOTH are form of freedom of communication !.

    Perhaps the biggest outrage is at the tam/NFL which allowed him to use his position to express his views.

    A somewhat minor issue not really dealing with any freedom of speech issue to begin with – but pounced upon by Reason to make some slightly connected point … What I can PR or even libertarian propaganda.

    An almost normal habit Reason these days.

  7. RE: #VeteransForKaepernick, Compulsory Patriotism, Free Speech, and Dissent

    Colin Kaepernick has no more right to make a display of non-violent protest any more than he has a right to own a firearm, say what he wants or be entitled to due process.
    He went to college.
    You would’ve thought he had learned this by now.

    1. Maybe he didn’t go to Middle School?

  8. I sing along with “O, Canada.” Does that make me a bad American?

    1. Yes.

      A patriotic American would belt out Blame Canada as loudly as they can to drown out the lying song of those flappy headed beady eyed syrup addicts.

    2. Every time I think of O, Canada in my head.. I sing O, Canada but to the tune of O, Christmas Tree.. Unless the song is actively being sung, I can never remember what it actually sounds like

    3. O, USA, our home and native land.
      True patriot sex, in all thy sons command.

    4. I can’t even rite now u gais.

    5. The worst.

    6. No, you just have bad tastes in anthems. And I’m Canadian.

  9. Whoa.. Liberation Brown… Niiice.

  10. BTW, America The Beautiful should be the national anthem. A tinny, corny British Drinking song just doesn’t do the trick. Especially when heard alongside the Russian National Anthem.

    1. I endorse this comment 100%.

    2. I figure the only thing the French have right is their national anthem. Far as I’m concerned, it’s the only one that works. That scene in Casablanca is what a rousing national anthem should do — KICK SOME NAZI BOOTY!

      Too bad it didn’t work so well for the French themselves.

    3. Aside from the obvious (he probably has a right to protest, unless NFL rules or his contract forbid it), there’s also the fact that there’s a whole bunch of ahistorical mythology floating around.

      The claim that the third verse (talking about slaves) is referring to US slavery of African folks is almost certainly nonsense. The British used mercenaries (Hessians) and African slaves who were given offers of emancipation if they would fight the ‘Americans’. That’s who Scott Key was referring to. So the whole thing has nothing to do with the US’ ‘peculiar institution’.

      Also, most musicologists reject the claim that ‘Anacreon’ was a vulgar drinking song. It was just a popular melody floating around at the time.

      And then there’s the notion that a third verse that most of had never even seen until this kerfuffle started is somehow legitimized by singing the only verse anybody really knows. That’s just stupid. IMHO.

      1. Also, most musicologists reject the claim that ‘Anacreon’ was a vulgar drinking song. It was just a popular melody floating around at the time.

        Then it’s a tinny, corny popular melody floating around at the time.

        I don’t care what the etymology of the music is, it is in fact as bad as it sounds.

        If it turns out it wasn’t a corny British drinking song, I’m not suddenly going to buy it on iTunes and put it in the regular rotation.

      2. I mean, it’s a national anthem that would sound better if it ended with the shave-and-a-haircut bump.

      3. Thank You Thank You. Someone who actually knows history. The comment about hirelings was not only about Hessian mercenaries as you said but that the British Military as a whole were considered to be mercenaries since they had a large professional standing army versus the mostly citizen militia that made up the US Army. It was an insult.

        “Also, most musicologists reject the claim that ‘Anacreon’ was a vulgar drinking song. It was just a popular melody floating around at the time.”

        Again I thank you. Many songs that came out at that time were put to melodies of older songs. Even into the Civil War. The songs Bonnie Blue Flag and Irish Volunteer were both put to the tune of Irish Jaunting Car.

    4. We all know what the National Anthem should be.

    5. There should be a separate anthem for both rich America and poor America.

    6. I think the Team America theme song works more for current American culture. If we elect Trump President, hopefully he will change it as one of his first acts.

  11. #VeteransForKaepernick because I didn’t volunteer to defend a country where police brutality is swept under the rug.

    +1 Union Arbitration Meeting!

  12. America the Beautiful would be a great peacetime anthem; allow me to suggest a wartime anthem.

    1. I thought after Apocalypse Now everyone agreed it should be Flight of the Valkyries.

      1. Too Birth of a Nation – ish.

      2. Only if you want to be deemed classless Wagnerites.

        1. You know who else was really into Wagner?

    2. How does it sound played by marching band?

      1. Probably as better than the version performed by Metallica.

  13. The dude pissed off ever NFL exec because now teams can’t cut him because he sucks–they’ll be accused of being racist Trump supporters–even though sucking is why they’re really cutting him.

    1. Damn. What a plan. About to be cut? Raise a fuss and make it look like racism.

      1. “Jones, about these production figures of yours…”

        “Yes, boss, I am a proud left-handed albino transgendered Democrat of color! What were you saying?”

      2. Michael Sam tried a similar maneuver. It didn’t work then, and there was significantly less money involved.

        Kap getting cut will inspire a two hour segment on SportsCenter featuring ESPN’s stable of race hustlers agreeing that this showcases the institutional racism inherent in American sports and how it reflects that of society as a whole. This will be followed by a 30 second comment by an actual football analyst pointing out that he sucks and everyone will move on.

        1. I tried to find a YouTube of Chris Berman’s reaction after ESPN fired Rush Limbaugh, but I couldn’t. Berman’s segment began with him looking very stern and him saying, “I’m angry.”

          It was unintentional comedy gold.

    2. It’s the entire reason why he’s going the prefabricated victim route.

      He probably just guaranteed himself an eventual job with NBC Sports, regardless of whether he can even put two coherent sentences together. In Obama’s America, there’s nothing greater than to be a victim.

  14. Does this mean that all the players who passivel stand while the national anthem is played are all willfully contributing to the racist police state/imperialist slaughter of freedom fighters around the world?

    Kaepernick isn’t signaling anything by his gesture other than demanding that the public pay attention to him. It says absolutely nothing about “BLM” or US foreign policy or anything else. Its just selfish petulance being marketed as “an act of conscience”

    Call me back when K. refuses to *play* / goes on a hunger strike, or set himself on fire in front of the white house. Collecting multi-million $ paychecks while gaming the media doesn’t strike me as something requiring any particular moral courage.

    1. Mebbe you ought to try sitting during the national anthem sometime if it’s such a trivial thing of no meaning.

      I doubt you are even close to brave enough to try that.

      1. I think people should do the original Bellamy salute.

      2. There’s nothing “brave” about it. If i had some kind of problem w/ the anthem, maybe i would. I don’t. I personally don’t go to sporting events to advertise my personal political convictions. and if i did, i think its a pretty silly and stupid way to go about it.

        1. Something is only brave if you would do it?

          You don’t know the first thing about it.

          1. I don’t see anything brave about sitting on your ass and expecting people to care why, no.

          2. Something is only brave if you would do it?

            No, something is only brave when there’s risks/cost.

            Its sort of hard to call this guy’s self-promotion tactics “brave” when he’s being instantly and widely celebrated and supported

            “Acts of conscience” which have no cost aren’t really acts of conscience.

            Scott Alexander’s piece about “ingroups & outgroups” had this relevant anecdote =

            The Emperor summons before him Bodhidharma and asks: “Master, I have been tolerant of innumerable gays, lesbians, bisexuals, asexuals, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, transgender people, and Jews. How many Virtue Points have I earned for my meritorious deeds?”

            Bodhidharma answers: “None at all”.

            The Emperor, somewhat put out, demands to know why.

            Bodhidharma asks: “Well, what do you think of gay people?”

            The Emperor answers: “What do you think I am, some kind of homophobic bigot? Of course I have nothing against gay people!”

            Bodhidharma answers: “Thus do you gain no merit by tolerating them!”

            by the same coin = until K. pays some price for his convictions? or puts some effort behind his self-stated ’cause’ besides ‘sitting on his ass’? He’s just spouting platitudes and being rewarded. Its the opposite of bravery. Its as vacuous and narcissistic as your average Twitter-hashtag campain

            1. No costs, as in everybody piling on?

              You have strange ideas of costs.

        2. It’s not a political conviction when everyone’s on board, Gilmore.

        3. My question is:: Did he do it for the attention. Or, even expecting it to make the news? It’s hard to put myself in a celebrity’s shoes, as I have no real idea of when I would be in the spotlight or not. I would expect there to be a “not”, at some point.

          Whether or not that’s naive or not is for another time. If he can be scrutinized for not following along, couldn’t the press be scrutinized for making this a “deal”. Or, did this start on social media?

          1. And, of course, I ask a questions without question marks.

            I mean, “?”

    2. Besides, he is just remaining on the bench….where he will be during the games too.

    3. Does this mean that all the players who passivel stand while the national anthem is played are all willfully contributing to the racist police state/imperialist slaughter of freedom fighters around the world?

      Ugh. It means they don’t want your blind support via lame, conservative gestures at hillbilly events. They want your blind support for trendy, liberal gestures on cool social media platforms.

    4. I’d pay to see him set himself on fire, just not to see him play football…

  15. Freedom doesn’t fucking require validation by motherfucking patriotism. She breezes through the landscape of times unfettered by the yoke of governing chains or crushing despotism. Freedom is the kiss of sun on the soaring brow of human meridian.

    Liberty is no man’s god or servant.

    1. I also endorse this comment 100%.

    2. Sublime, as usual.

    3. Most don’t stand for “patriotism”.
      They stand out of respect and gratitude for what they enjoy.

      There is a big friggin difference.

  16. That’s why the outrage over San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s hardly unprecedented choice to protest the socially-compulsory tradition of standing for the playing of the national anthem before a professional sports contest feels as forced as the tradition itself.

    The veterans for Kaepernick hashtag, on the other hand, feels totally natural and not forced at all

    1. Astroturf is “natural”….for football!

    2. Like I said to people for every one of then there is one who disagrees. Sure he has the right to do it. But they think his logic behind it is plain stupid.

  17. I honestly can’t even dredge up a fart’s worth of giving a shit about this whole issue.

    1. This is me since the first time I heard about this story-

      Oh my god. Who the hell cares?

    2. And that is what will eventually make it a fart in a thunderstorm worth of impact.

  18. CK can do what he wants. I am little fan of the state of affairs. But anyone who wears Castro gear falls into the “enemy of an enemy is not necessarily a friend”. You can be right for the wrong reasons. If he’s part of the “Rage Against The Machine”/Sean Penn end of the pool – I’m not going to put a whole lot of weight in pulling his end of the rope. If I’d been around 150 years ago, I’d probably have been a Lysander Spooner abolitionist, not a supporter of John Brown nut job.

    1. Spooner did try to gin up a conspiracy to bust Brown out of prison after Harper’s Ferry, but nothing ever came of it.

  19. (to say nothing of the fact that it’s a much better song than the “Banner”)

    Oh, no. No no no. America the Beautiful is boooooring, practically New Age droning; the Star Spangled Banner is much more dynamic, demanding a greater vocal range.

  20. I’d like to admit something. While I understand, and even appreciate, the ideas behind fighting for freedom of expression, and the right to offend, I find myself… increasingly beaten down by the reality of modern society.

    It feels very much like I am in the minority, increasingly so, when it comes to these issues. And while there was a time when I would have fought harder because of that, lately, I find the motivation lacking. Noticeably so.

    I don’t really know what to do about that. How does one combat something one has no real desire to combat?

    1. Heavy drinking, mostly.

      1. The answer to most of life’s challenges.

        1. That’s also the cause of a lot of them.

          1. One cannot solve a problem unless a problem is first created. Sometimes you got to do shit yourself if you want to get it done!

            1. Hell, yeah!

              *pours shots for Hyp and Susan*

            2. If you want it done right…

    2. You can start by driving more aggressively. Helps to angry up the blood.

      1. Hey man, just for you, I’ll start executing the zipper. Now, where I live, that means I’ll also have to execute the concealed carry, but that’s probably a good idea anyway.

        1. That bit where somebody (I believe it was Renegade) said he sees people poke out to block those lanes, and I said you’d get shot here (Texas) if you tried that?

          Honest to god, I saw it for the first time ever this weekend. I had never in my life seen what he described, and then right after we had that conversation, sure enough, it happened. It was some lady in a Mazda 2. She didn’t get shot, but she did get the fuck out of the way when an F-250 with a grill guard showed no interest in stopping. They played chicken, and she blinked first.

          I just found it to be an amazing coincidence that I’d never seen such a thing, we have that conversation, and them two days later, there it is.

          1. It was some lady in a Mazda 2

            With NY plates, I’m guessing.

            Wait, this is Texas. What’s your guys answer to Staten Island? Oklahoma? Louisiana?

          2. That’s done a lot here in Minneapolix.

          3. God, I hate the early merge, especially when the speed of the traffic is well below 40. People are willingly forgoing using perfectly good road for no reason whatsoever. Blockers are fucking dumb.

            It’s worse when traffic people and radio hosts are actually encouraging the early merge.

  21. The black chick with the Marley shirt, oh yes I would.

  22. You really can’t overstate how stupid, pointless and counter productive this is. And I say that as someone who laregely agrees with the things Kapernik has said about police. Kapernik is doing nothing to help the cause of police accountability. He is not “bringing attention” to anything except himself. Worse, instead of starting a debate about cops, he has started the usual emotional debate about the national anthem. All he has done is allow police associate anyone who questions them or demands accountability with rejecting the entire country.

    Worse, this is not a racial problem it is a police problem. Fuck Kapernick. What, is he okay with the police shooting and beating people just so long as they are only doing it to white people? And if he honestly believes that America is so fucking racist, maybe he should reconsider making police brutality part of the general umbrella of racism. If America is so racist, why the hell does Kapernik think making police brutality about race is going to make anyone care? Perhaps he might want to make it about all racist so all those racist white people he thinks are out there have a reason to care.

    This whole thing is nothing but useless narcissistic virtue signaling. Kaperik isn’t doing anything to help the problem and frankly doesn’t seem to want to. All he wants to do is pose and feel important. Fuck him. Call me when he does something meaningful and productive.

    1. Call me when he does something meaningful and productive.

      Vikings lost their QB yesterday. Does sitting on the bench at the brand-spanking new People’s Stadium of Minneapolis count?

      1. He can fight the power by sending a really strongly worded tweet. #Millenial

      2. Hey, glad you brought that up.

        Everything I’ve seen about Bridgewater says “slightly above average QB”. Ok, maybe a little better than that. I admit to not seeing a lot of Minnesota games. So help me out, what am I missing?

        1. He is still young and has potential and gumption, even if he cannot throw the long ball. His backup is Shaun Hill, who is old, so I doubt the Vikings will be going too far, which is sad because it is hard to root against Mike Zimmer.

          Then again the Broncos are starting a random man who wandered into the stadium, so maybe that is the secret.

        2. I think that’s exactly right. The challenge is that there are so few QBs of even that modest accomplishment level. He is also very popular with the fans, media, etc. Not a good time when the Vikings are trying to market their new boondoggle.

          The Twins blackmailed us into a spiffy new stadium and then promptly went tits-up. I expect no less from the Purple.

        3. Nothing. But mate a slightly above average QB to a dominant running back and a defense that’s expected to be pretty fucking good and you have a potential SB contender (just look at Seattle).

          1. That’s why I took Houston at 28-1 to win it.

          2. Sorry I passed right over the Seattle thing. Wilson is a great player capable of carrying an offense, so I wouldn’t lump him into the game manager class

    2. agreed and if he wanted to protest he should have stood out in the crowd and not cower on the bench waiting for someone to see his imaginary protest.

    3. There isn’t a race problem or a police problem (ok, there are, but they are irrelevant), there is a globalist problem. Cops not only represent an avenue of local control and thus some minor autonomy for the little people instead of the Technocracy and their Global Oligarchic Democracy, but vilifying them and riling people up leads to crime and chaos, which also serves the Technocracy’s interests as it has in, e.g., spawning massive waves of human migration to destroy western civilization.

  23. Why the hell is this still going on?

    Is it even really an issue?

    I see lots of people complaining about people complaining about this guy–but I’m not seeing anyone actually complaining about this guy.

    And even if they are–he’s got free speech, they’ve got free speech–we’re done. There’s no issue here.

    So can Reason stop acting like a bunch of facebook fueled SJW retards?

    1. Pretty much that. Other than the distraction that he has become to the larger and more important issue of police brutality, this is the who cares story of the year.

    2. Once the NFL is done ruining the game, there will be nothing left except a season long reality TV show about the behavior of the players. They’re just getting a little head start here.

  24. “We’re so sick of a baseball game being interrupted for 5 minutes for GBA” – says almost nobody.

    Baseball games are “interrupted” by commercials between every inning. There’s an ad situated conveniently behind the catcher. Some game breaks or in game observations are “brought to by” advertisements. If the left whined about commercialization of the game, libertarians would have a stern lecture ready to go.

    If I was a celebrity and protested BLM violence by boycotting Kwanzaa (a made up holiday) or even not standing up during the national anthem, I would be targeted by the mob. The more astute observers would note that I’m being disrespectful by conflating of confusing two (separate) things. That’s what Kap is doing.

    Standing up for the national anthem isn’t an endorsement of the government any more than attending a lunar new year celebration is approving of the Chinese government. It’s a gesture of respect and appreciation of your COUNTRY and those who made it happen. I bet the Brazilians really hate their government and its social injustice. Did any they boycott the national anthem during the gold medal soccer game?

    If Kap boycotted the Mexican anthem to protest their atrocities, he would have been crucified by the SJWs. I don’t want to hear these slanted lectures. He has the right to do this, but it’s in poor taste and will not start any conversations.

    1. lots of conversations but none of them about what he claims to be protesting about

    2. Imagine what the SJWs would have done if one of the MLB players had refused to play in Cuba.

    3. Standing up for the national anthem isn’t an endorsement of the government any more than attending a lunar new year celebration is approving of the Chinese government. It’s a gesture of respect and appreciation of your COUNTRY and those who made it happen

      Then standing up for it is indicating you respect what your government is doing. And not standing shows you do not respect its actions.

      The richest part of this whole made for cable news event is the NFL execs whining about hating the guy, not on my team, blah blah. Hey – if you are a rapist, drunk, convicted of mansalughter, beat a murder rap and can play and stand for the anthem, WE WANT YOU!

      1. 90% of the people standing up during the national anthem are not fans of the government. And if “The country is going in the wrong direction” was a presidential candidate, it would win in a historic landslide. The national anthem is simply about honoring your country and its heritage. If there was a soccer game in Venezuela (a broken socialist society), everyone there would be standing up for the national anthem. They would celebrate a Olympic gold medal earned by one of its athletes.

        In 99% of the world, citizens of a nation will primarily identify themselves as such. If you live in Japan, you’re Japanese. Athletes in Shinjuku won’t say “I refuse to honor JAPANESE tradition because my people in this town were let down by Tokyo”.

        But America is a fractured society with diverse groups that identify according to their heritage. Blacks do not identify as Americans who are black. They’re simply black. And an Asian immigrant won’t think “there’s my fellow countryman who just happens to be black” when they see a black person. He’s black, I’m Asian. Different worlds.

        So what BLM and Kap are doing is “us against them”. America and its traditions can be essentially something from another world. Meanwhile, the civil rights movement is a cherished moment in black America and they try to make that part of the national conscience / identity. In truth, many non black minorities and even whites couldn’t care less about MLK Day.

        1. yes. I stand not because of patriotic fervor, but because I’m tremendously grateful that I have the freedom to attend a game with 10s of thousands of fellow citizens. I’m tremendously grateful for the sacrifices of those before me that have established the freedom I enjoy.
          This country isn’t perfect, far from it. But tools like Kaepernick need to become more worldly and understand how friggin good they have it.

          He is a whiny little twit jumping on the racialist band wagon.

  25. Nobody who think’s he’s a twit is “offended”. That’s a twinky little reaction from his type and the Reason author. We don’t agree. The author of this article is free to be a whiny little brat too. She’s not going to be respected for that though. Whiny bullshit doesn’t do that for you. Here’s a thought. Why doesn’t the author try to learn some history, and at least study the words of the National Anthem before throwing a temper tantrum.

  26. Nobody who think’s he’s a twit is “offended”. That’s a twinky little reaction from his type and the Reason author. We don’t agree. The author of this article is free to be a whiny little brat too. She’s not going to be respected for that though. Whiny bullshit doesn’t do that for you. Here’s a thought. Why doesn’t the author try to learn some history, and at least study the words of the National Anthem before throwing a temper tantrum.

  27. Nobody who think’s he’s a twit is “offended”. That’s a twinky little reaction from his type and the Reason author. We don’t agree. The author of this article is free to be a whiny little brat too. She’s not going to be respected for that though. Whiny bullshit doesn’t do that for you. Here’s a thought. Why doesn’t the author try to learn some history, and at least study the words of the National Anthem before throwing a temper tantrum.

  28. “. . . the country braced for a war against an enemy we clearly did not understand, with no idea that our response to the horrors unleashed the morning of 9/11/01 would beget horrors in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere that have no resolution in sight a full decade-and-a-half later.”

    No idea that our response would beget horrors? I beg to differ. Justine Raimondo from 9/18/01:

    “For a massive US military intervention, an invasion force, could not be unleashed without seriously destabilizing the entire region ? undermining the very governments whose cooperation is essential to any purely military response to the September 11 atrocity.”

    “The interventionist response to the massacre of September 11 is to launch a massacre of our own, albeit on a much larger scale. Theirs is an agenda of military conquest, to go in and stay in ? to spread “democracy” throughout the Middle East, to impose it by force of arms ? and, coincidentally, make the world safe for Israel. On the other hand, the anti-interventionist response is quite different: it is roughly congruent with Powell’s arguments, as expressed to date, that we need to go in, kill ’em, and leave ? without playing into Osama bin Laden’s hands. For the radical Islamists would like nothing better than a full-scale invasion of the Middle East, as recommended by Kristol ? all the better to spread his jihad far and wide.”

    http://www.antiwar.com/justin/j092801.html

  29. You know this is all about his new very politically active girlfriend. I sort of feel sorry for him.

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  31. As a veteran, I believe Kaepernick can say and do what he wants- and he seems to be standing up to the criticism he is receiving (good on ya, Big K). His comments would carry more weight if he also said “The brothers need to stop killing each other and anybody else, and they need to support their children.” Until he does this smells like a preemptive strike against being cut.

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  33. i would like to see more of a distinction between criticism of what he did or said, and the people who think he should be run out of the nfl or the country entirely. all i keep hearing is that people have a right to do this or that, and that’s great, but being punitive toward someone for exercising their rights -even if it’s within your rights to do so- is really what’s un-american. my guess is the people who think he should move are probably the loudest critics of things like “safe spaces” too.

    1. He has a right to be a clueless racialist tool. I have the right to call him a clueless racialist tool.

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  36. The thing is Kaepernick isn’t Ali. Ali was an individual playing an individual sport. Kaepernick is a member of a team. He showed complete lack of regard for the s%^tstorm he was bringing down on his teammates, coaches and team executives. Now instead of preparing for their job they are dealing with this. He didn’t bother to ask them or even tell them what he had planned. When you are a member of a team your actions can have consequences for not just you but everyone. Same thing when someone gets a DUI commits a crime beats their wife or says something dumb(Hope Solo). This doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

    Another thing many of these same free speech champions well sudden free speech champions will be the first to make sure anyone to the right of Bernie Sanders is kicked off a college campus. They are the same people who demanded NPR fire Juan Williams and ESPN fire Curt Schilling. They were the ones demanding Tim Tebow keep his religion off the field.

    1. Like i say below, when you are on the boss’s timeclock, you have no free speech rights…

  37. When you are on the boss’s timeclock, as Colin was, you have no free speech rights that the boss does not approve of you expressing. When you are on your own time, you can protest to your heart’s content…

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  39. It’s those darn Republicans that have to step up, admit failure and clean up this mess they caused.

    https://learnenglish100.com/grammar/

  40. think about it this way. the anthem is not apart of football, except by virtue of tradition. so the nfl has intentionally introduced a political element into players reality. so to object and especially to punish someone for taking a different political position isn’t exactly reasonable. they asked for this.

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