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Colin Kaepernick is the only NFL protester that I respect

In the 2016 NFL preseason, Colin Kaepernick did something that will change this country forever. He took a knee during the national anthem. Before he did so, the national anthem being sung before a game was a time where everyone would stand, hats off and hand across their chest. The national anthem and the raising of the flag used to be something that every single person respected in this country. However, a year later, everything has changed.

When you are growing up as a little kid, your parents teach you many valuable lessons that you will carry with you throughout the rest of your life. The most important thing my parents taught me, and I am sure they taught most of you, was to be a leader not a follower. My parents told me to be the first one to do something if I believe it is right and to never follow along the actions of someone else if I feel it is wrong. In general, be my own person and do not let anyone else tell me what to do or how to live my life.

Colin Kaepernick was a leader in this movement. No one expected him to kneel during the national anthem. It seemed to have come out of nowhere. Do I think it was the right thing to do? I do not. Do I respect him for doing so? Fuck yes, I do. He knew the criticism he would face, the backlash he would hear from fans, but he did not care. I respect him based on the fact that he was a leader. He believed that things had to be changed in this country and he wanted to be the man that started that movement. To be honest, I do not believe he had any idea that a year later, it would grow to be this big of an issue. However, I think the true meaning behind his actions is becoming lost.

The reason Kaepernick took a knee was because he believed that things in African American communities were not equal to those in White communities. Do I understand where he is coming from? Not at all. I am a 22-year old, white male. So I’ll be honest, I have no idea what is going on in any African American community and I do not understand the whole kneeling for the anthem. I do not live the life of any African American person, so I cannot understand how their lives are day in and day out. I do not respect Kaepernick’s other actions such as the pig socks.

I have the utmost respect for the police and the people protecting our country. Do cops sometimes take the wrong action? Of course, but people you have to remember they are human like you and me. Everyone makes mistake. Some mistakes are bigger than others. Some mistakes are worthy of punishment. Some are not mistakes. However, I am not here to talk about police brutality because the few police who may have wrong actions do not outweigh those who go to work everyday putting their lives on the line to protect each and every one of us.

However, back to the point of this article. Since Kaerpnick has taken a knee many players have joined in. Those people are the followers. They are not doing anything to help African American communities and they are not truly making a difference (besides today I saw a tweet from Rishard Matthews donating money to African American communities in need, respect). These players taking a knee just want to “fit in”. They say they want to make a difference, but I am here calling you all FRAUDS. What have you done? I have seen Kaepernick try to make a true difference. I have seen him give his time out to speak in communties, he has donated his money and he has spoke out on many issues. Does he have more time since he is unemployed right now? Yes. However, if all of these players find the time to go out and party, why can they not find the time to give back?

If they truly want to make a difference, take action. Do not just take a knee on Thursday, Sunday and Monday during your games. Go out there and do something about it. Do not just follow the footsteps of another man, be your own man. It frustrates me to see all of these players taking a knee, but not taking a true initiative. If you truly believe you wanted change, or if you think the NFL is wrong in not hiring Colin Kaepernick, do something about it. How about you sit out a game or two and give up your paycheck? None of you will. In the end all you really care about is that paycheck that you will receive. You do not truly want to make a difference. You rather just run your mouth and take a knee instead of actually doing something about it.

Photo Credits: CBS Boston
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Nicholas LoPrinzi View All

I'm a washed up D3 college baseball player who is pursuing their MBA in Accounting. I love baseball, basketball, and football; while rooting for the New York Mets, New York Knicks, and New York Giants. Most of the time it is full of misery. I have recently found a passion for writing about sports. I have posted a few articles for Last Word on Sports and I have now created my own website (the-sportstalk.com). You can check out my articles there and also follow the twitter account @_thesportstalk.

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