Since Colin Kaepernick sat out the national anthem at the pre-season game on Friday and followed up with a controversial reason for his decision, America cannot stop talking about it.
After the interview I had with Iraq war veteran surrounding the Kaepernick controversy went viral yesterday, I felt like sharing my thoughts about the issue.
I didn't expect it to be anything more than a Facebook status that got a few likes. However, it's turned out to be much more.
Less than a day after writing the letter, it's already been shared over 1,000 times. That's pretty substantial considering it's only been posted to my individual writer page. I see the reaction as a testament to how strongly Americans feel about Kaepernick's actions.
Here's what I wrote:
Dear Colin Kaepernick,
You talk about oppression in America, but you are privileged.
You were lucky enough to be adopted as a baby and pulled out of your broken home by parents who might not share your ethnic background, but did everything they could to make you successful.
And because of your hard work and dedication you are living a life that millions only dream of. Good for you.
If we are measuring privilege by your income, however, with a 22 million dollar net-worth, you are more fortunate than the majority of people not just in America, but in the world.
As a NFL player, you have the opportunity to turn on a mic and influence millions of people for good. But after the pre-season game on Friday night, you used your platform to promote an anti-American theme as a player of one the most American sports of all-time.
Then, you decided to throw gasoline on the fire by implying that cops get away with murder and that they're getting paid doing it. I don't know about everyone else, but I would love to see you trade in your jersey and pigskin for a gun and a badge. I'd love to see you go patrol the inner city in Baltimore or Chicago at night, and then tell me cops are part of the problem. I'd love to see you jump in front of an incoming bullet to save a life because it's part of your job.
Another suggestion: Go knock on the doors of the widows who lost their husbands in the police assassinations in Dallas and Baton Rouge. Tell them cops get away with murder.
With your comments after Friday night's game, you've proven one thing: You're more interested in being a victim than offering any solutions to the challenges we face in America. If you just would have left it at, “I chose not to stand for personal reasons,” we wouldn't even be talking about it right now. People would respectfully disagree with your decision but recognize your right to have it. We still recognize your right.
But the fact that you decided to insult the country that has given you everything and then took a shot at law enforcement, while that exercising that right, is the problem.
And by saying what you said, you left an impression on your fans. Most importantly, your young fans. You gave them a reason to take their blessings in America for granted. You gave them a reason to buy into the false narrative that they have less of chance to make a difference in the world because of their skin color.
It's 2016 and you're acting like Martin Luther King Jr.'s “I Have a Dream Speech” still isn't a reality. Yet, you're undeniable evidence that it is.
Your success story is the American Dream. You should be proud of it. Yeah, you have the right to sit out The National Anthem.
And the closer, “But if you consider all the things that led you to where you are today, when it's time for the anthem, you should be standing there in silence with deep appreciation for the beautiful and fulfilling life America has given you.”