On Facebook, a woman who I will identify only as E proclaimed, “That stupid football player is the biggest freaking joke I’ve ever seen in my life. I hope to G*d his career ends today.” [nb: censoring mine. She uses a number of words I no longer say]. She further advocated “frying” him, and said that a man sitting down for the national anthem is a disgrace. “And I think he should be removed from the NFL or apologize”. She invoked the troops who had fought for his right to stand for that anthem.
Here’s what I have to say to her, and to every person who is vilifying this man for standing up (or more accurately, sitting down) for what he believes in:
You want to talk about the men and women fighting for America? They’re fighting for your rights. They’re fighting for his. The first amendment gives him as much right to sit down as it gives you to spew all this hate against him. I have to wonder, would you be this vitriolic if he were white? Because I didn’t stand for this country’s national anthem either, when it played at my work. Should I lose my job?
The thing is, if he’d been white, they’d be lauding him as a champion of First Amendment rights. But because he’s black, he’s ungrateful, unpatriotic, and unconscionable. My question is, what exactly has he got to be grateful for?
Sure, he’s a well paid wealthy athlete, but he would have had to work hard and have actual talent for that. That’s him, all him. In terms of his rights, privileges and liberties, that his country affords him – that the national anthem in question purports to be about – he’s got nothing, because he’s a black man in a country where WWB seems to be considered a crime punishable by instant execution by cop.
Think on that.