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Tue Aug 30, 2016, 12:10 PM

Abdul-Jabbar: Insulting Colin Kaepernick Says More About Our Patriotism Than His

Abdul-Jabbar: Insulting Colin Kaepernick Says More About Our Patriotism Than His

During the Olympics in Rio a couple of weeks ago, Army Reserve 2nd Lt. Sam Kendricks was sprinting intently in the middle of his pole vaulting attempt when he heard the national anthem playing. He immediately dropped his pole and stood at attention, a spontaneous expression of heartfelt patriotism that elicited more praise than his eventual bronze medal. Last Thursday, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick chose not to stand with his teammates during the national anthem. To some, Kendricks embodies traditional all-American Forrest Gump values of patriotism, while Kaepernick represents the entitled brattish behavior of a wealthy athlete ungrateful to a country that has given him so much.

In truth, both men, in their own ways, behaved in a highly patriotic manner that should make all Americans proud.

The discussion of the nuances of patriotism is especially important right now, with Trump and Clinton supporters each righteously claiming ownership of the “most patriotic” label. Patriotism isn’t just getting teary-eyed on the Fourth of July or choked up at war memorials. It’s supporting what the Fourth of July celebrates and what those war memorials commemorate: the U.S. Constitution’s insistence that all people should have the same rights and opportunities and that it is the obligation of the government to make that happen. When the government fails in those obligations, it is the responsibility of patriots to speak up and remind them of their duty...

SNIP

...We should admire those who risk personal gain in the service of promoting the values of their country. Both athletes are in fine company of others who have shown their patriotism in unconventional ways. In 1989, when a federal law prohibiting flag desecration went into effect, Vietnam Veterans burned the American flag as a protest to a law curbing the First Amendment. Their argument was that they fought for the freedoms in the Constitution, not a piece of cloth, and to curtail those freedoms was an insult to their sacrifice. Ironically, the original purpose of flag desecration laws between 1897 and 1932 wasn’t to prevent political dissent, but to prevent the use of flag imagery for political campaigns and in advertising.


One sign of the maturation of American society is the willingness of those in the public eye, especially athletes, to openly take a political stand, even if it could harm their careers. The modern era of athletes speaking out began in 1966 with Muhammad Ali refusing to be drafted to fight other people of color. In 1967, I joined with football great Jim Brown, basketball legend Bill Russell, Muhammad Ali and other prominent athletes for what was dubbed “The Cleveland Summit.” Together we tried to find ways to help Ali fight for his right of political expression. I don’t know how much we were able to accomplish on a practical level, but seeing black athletes in support of Ali inspired others to speak out. The following year at the 1968 Olympics, African Americans Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists during the medal ceremony as a protest to the treatment of people of color in the United States. In 2014, NBA players LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Jarrett Jack, Alan Anderson, Deron Williams and Kevin Garnett and NFL players from the Rams and Browns wore “I Can’t Breathe” shirts during warm-ups for a game to protest police killings of unarmed blacks...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/08/30/insulting-colin-kaepernick-says-more-about-our-patriotism-than-his/?postshare=2111472561231470&tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.b6851edee066

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply Abdul-Jabbar: Insulting Colin Kaepernick Says More About Our Patriotism Than His (Original post)
FourScore Aug 2016 OP
anoNY42 Aug 2016 #1
CrispyQ Aug 2016 #2
dembotoz Aug 2016 #3
jonno99 Aug 2016 #4
GeorgeGist Aug 2016 #5
jonno99 Aug 2016 #8
Skittles Aug 2016 #12
TheSarcastinator Sep 2016 #16
jonno99 Sep 2016 #17
TheSarcastinator Sep 2016 #19
jonno99 Sep 2016 #22
Egnever Sep 2016 #18
jonno99 Sep 2016 #23
mythology Aug 2016 #6
iandhr Aug 2016 #7
JHB Aug 2016 #14
edhopper Sep 2016 #21
Initech Aug 2016 #9
malaise Aug 2016 #10
Skittles Aug 2016 #11
uponit7771 Aug 2016 #13
christx30 Sep 2016 #15
demmiblue Sep 2016 #20

Response to FourScore (Original post)

Tue Aug 30, 2016, 12:18 PM

1. Desperado

 

"During the Olympics in Rio a couple of weeks ago, Army Reserve 2nd Lt. Sam Kendricks was sprinting intently in the middle of his pole vaulting attempt when he heard the national anthem playing. He immediately dropped his pole and stood at attention,"

This made me think of the Seinfeld episode where Elaine's date always had to stop and listen intently when the Eagle's "Desperado" came on the radio...

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Tue Aug 30, 2016, 12:27 PM

2. No one said a word about the photo of W signing an American flag.

I personally am sick of seeing stages with multiple American flags. What's with that? Is one more patriotic because they have more flags? What about all the clothing that has the flag on it. I don't mind standing for the national anthem, but I won't put my hand on my heart.

I remember a story a few years back about a couple who didn't stand for the anthem at a sporting event. People around them were mean & nasty about it. Turns out, they were British.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Tue Aug 30, 2016, 01:21 PM

3. my respect for number 33 just continues to grow

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Response to jonno99 (Reply #4)

Tue Aug 30, 2016, 01:44 PM

5. Great whitesplaining.

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Response to GeorgeGist (Reply #5)

Tue Aug 30, 2016, 04:10 PM

12. yes

no opinions from white folk please

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Response to jonno99 (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 1, 2016, 02:01 PM

16. I'm sure he's crushed he no longer has your support!

Your opinion matters.

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Response to TheSarcastinator (Reply #16)

Thu Sep 1, 2016, 02:10 PM

17. Your opinion is noted. nt

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Response to jonno99 (Reply #17)

Thu Sep 1, 2016, 02:29 PM

19. thanks!

We've now established that neither of our opinions about this issue matter one bit. Colin Kaepernick should and will carry on without our approval or condemnation, exactly as he should.

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Response to TheSarcastinator (Reply #19)

Thu Sep 1, 2016, 02:37 PM

22. Truer words have never been spoken!

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Response to jonno99 (Reply #4)

Thu Sep 1, 2016, 02:15 PM

18. Holy fuck what a knuckle dragging article that was

 

I suppose it is to be expected from a sports journalist but wow.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Tue Aug 30, 2016, 02:04 PM

6. As long as that is the extent of his protest

 

I can't be bothered to care. It isn't likely to cost him much, nor does it seem to have much of a tangible benefit to others. As such, it seems rather pointless.

The pole vaulter seems rather phony, but perhaps he legitmately overcome. Likewise I still don't really care.

Both of them have the right to their actions, but I don't think either rise to the level of real patriotism, because it's cost free. Patriotism is getting your skull cracked marching for the right to vote. Patriotism is dying in a just cause for your country.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Tue Aug 30, 2016, 02:36 PM

7. He is 100% right.

But I thought his name was Roger Murdock


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Response to iandhr (Reply #7)

Tue Aug 30, 2016, 07:37 PM

14. Not that again!

Surely it's over!







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Response to JHB (Reply #14)

Thu Sep 1, 2016, 02:34 PM

21. Don't call him

Shirely!

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Tue Aug 30, 2016, 03:05 PM

9. Kareem is 100% right here.

This might be one of the dumbest controversies I've ever seen.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Tue Aug 30, 2016, 03:36 PM

10. Very well said Kareem

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Tue Aug 30, 2016, 04:07 PM

11. riiiiiiiiiiiight

we have to ADMIRE him!

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Tue Aug 30, 2016, 07:28 PM

13. +1

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2016, 01:39 PM

15. Yay 1st amendment.

Kaepernick is free to stand or not stand for the national anthem. Everyone else is free to support or deride him. The team can keep or fire him if they feel he brings bad publicity to them. The Earth will continue to turn, no matter what happens.

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Response to FourScore (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2016, 02:32 PM

20. The only thing that would have made his column better would have been to include women athletes.




It wouldn't hurt for our allies to dig a little deeper.

Wonderful, wonderful insight, though. I have a lot of respect and admiration for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

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