Tampa Bay Sports Day

NFL: Colin’s Sit-in, Highly Principled or Self-Serving?

San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick’s NFL stock skyrocketed when he led the 49ers to their first Super Bowl since 1994, even though they lost to the Baltimore Ravens.

Kaepernick began his career during the 2012 season. Now he is sharing time in the preseason with former Jacksonville Jaguars’ QB Blaine Gabbert. His return to the starting job is not assured.

His initial reason for not standing for the National Anthem before Friday’s game against Green Bay rang of lofty principles and troubled conscious.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Truth is Kaepernick has spent little or no time in Bay area communities working with black youth, creating a dialogue between law enforcement and the black community, personally helping to close the deep divide that most will admit does exists.

Truth is his protest is more about him not getting the amount of exposure and publicity that he feels he is due from his past on-field heroics, now that he is competing to be “the man” again in San Francisco.

No. Sitting during a Patriotic song doesn’t do anything constructive to fix a serious problem except shine a brighter light on Colin. It’s like he learned this stunt in a Kardashian correspondence course chapter on how to act “Hot and Bothered.”

With his high profile, intelligence, big salary and touting that this personally troubling issue is bigger than football, he can do more than just not stand for the Star Spangled Banner. Sitting takes very little sweat equity like his numerous tweets on civil rights.

Bottom line is the Kaepernick doesn’t know the difference between Huey Newton and Huey Lewis. He is just upset that his star status is tarnished. His pre-game antics won’t help and certainly don’t foster any solutions to a serious problem.

In fairness to Kaepernick, he continues to raise awareness for Camp Taylor, a Bay-area charity that offers several programs for young people and families of children with heart disease. The cause is special to him as his parents lost two children to heart disease at a young age. But the last blog on his community involvement on the 49ers Web site is from 2014.

The 49ers issued a statement about Kaepernick’s decision: “The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”

By the way, the Packers won 21-10.