Dear Colin Kaepernick,
Last Friday, you chose to remain seated while the National Anthem played at Levi’s Stadium before the 49ers preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. This action provoked a huge response across all media platforms….from cries of first amendment rights, to 49ers fans burning your jerseys. You awoke the “patriotic giant”, so to speak.
And while I’ll be the first to say that I respect your right to have an opinion on social issues….I also respect mine. After all, that’s what makes America great, right?
To begin, let’s be honest – you knew what you did would evoke emotion and attention. Your quote (below) has been read by millions of people with responses flooding the Internet.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. 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.”
So Colin, here’s the problem. Although this was clearly the point of your actions….to rile up the crowd and get the nation talking – you chose (in my opinion), a cowardly approach. While it’s true that people are talking, your choice of platform has evoked a response that is a far cry from the issue to which you wanted to bring attention.
It’s easy for people to take shots at the irony that you are a black football player making millions of dollars a year playing a professional sport while claiming to be “oppressed”. And some even like to point out that you should stand up from a bench that you will probably sit on most of the season, or post memes of your large house, shoe collection, and other items of oppression that you own. However, I prefer to take a different approach to your statement. While I don’t think your individual circumstances should negate your opinion, I DO know that I was (as many Americans were) deeply insulted by your method of delivery.
Not standing for the National Anthem makes a non-verbal statement to everyone watching. I was not watching the screen thinking of how brave you are to stand up for black lives….I was watching the screen thinking of what a coward you are to sit down in spite of sacrificed lives. I believe your quote to be true…but only the first part. You stated, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country”, and you could have ended it there. This is the statement you made. Or maybe you should have re-phrased it to read “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for MY country….MY country that has offered me great opportunity, to play a game….A GAME….and get paid millions of dollars to do so. I am not going to stand up for MY country that allows me the freedom to make this statement in the first place. I am not going to stand up for MY country or the men and women, black and white, who sacrificed their lives to get me here. I am not going to stand up for MY country.
Colin Kaepernick, despite your current difficulties on the field, you are still a large name in the NFL and on social media. If you’d like to make a statement, you have a million ways to do so. I fully support your right to state your opinion, but it needs to be presented in a respectable manner. It is very hard for me to value the opinion of people I don’t respect. I can look past your bicep kisses, I can stomach your arrogance that exceeds ability, but not standing for the National Anthem has cost you my respect, and my attention.
The next time I hear “The Star Spangled Banner”, I will stand up (as I always do). I will stand up and think of my grandfathers who served in WWII and the millions of others who have sacrificed. I will stand up and think of the men and women who are away from their families at that very moment – so that I am afforded the privilege of watching an NFL football game in this great country. I will stand up and be thankful that I have the freedom to voice my opinion on this matter, and any others that I choose.
I will not, Colin Kaepernick, stand up and think of you.
If you heard a collective sigh of relief rush through the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday morning, rest assured it had nothing to do with the President of China’s motorcade heading North. As quickly as a Starbucks can misspell your name, news spread that Seattle’s beloved safety, Kam Chancellor, had ended his contract holdout and returned to the team. Chancellor’s return ended nearly two months of a negotiation stalemate with Seattle and came at a time when, for the first time since 2011, the Seahawks started their season with a disappointing record of 0-2.
Seattle fans knew that the Seahawks were slated to start the 2015 season with a tough two-game road trip. Games against the Rams and Packers, especially on their home turf, have historically been tough for the green and blue from the NW. But after big contracts (Russell Wilson), big acquisitions (Jimmy Graham) and a team that has been to the Super Bowl the last two years, a record of 0-2 seemed to startle many of the 12s. The disappointing start came with cries of questionable play calling, underutilization of Graham’s talents, and talk of a team that seemed out of sync.
And so, it seems, Chancellor’s return could not have come at a better time. Notably a leader both on and off the field, Kam’s teammates seemed to embrace his return with open arms. Missing in Chancellor’s absence was the tough mental and physical play he brings to every game. In week one, replacement Dion Bailey slipped while covering Rams tight end Lance Kendricks, allowing them to tie up the game on a last minute TD. The Seahawks eventually lost to St. Louis in overtime. And while no one player should be blamed for the Seahawks loss, the unfortunate slip only seemed to highlight Kam’s absence.
But now that the three-time Pro Bowler and noted team leader returns to the field, can Seattle reverse the tide? For the next few games, at least, it seems the odds are stacked in their favor. The schedule will soften drastically over the coming weeks, including back to back home games against the struggling Bears and Lions. Additionally, two of the next three road games are against the ever-imploding San Francisco 49ers and a Romo-less Cowboys team in Dallas.
And while both sides are keeping mum about the details of Chancellor’s return, Kam said he will deal with business at the end of the season. As he stated to the press on Wednesday, it was simply “time to come back”.
As a Seattle fan, I couldn’t agree more.
By Jenny Goos
Ahhh….the lazy days of summer are winding down and the NFL season is so close you can almost feel it in the air. Now that we’ve gotten all the details on Russell’s new contract, held our breath over Kam’s holdout (don’t worry, it won’t last much longer), and read WAY TOO MUCH about Ciara’s celibacy, there is one more thing left to worry about before the Seahawks first kickoff. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO WEAR THIS YEAR?!!!!
While we all can (and do) walk into the local team shop and pick up the latest jersey that costs 25X more than it does to make, it is always the more interesting and fun outfits that stand out at the games. For me, people-watching is one of the best parts of attending Seahawks games in person. If you want to hear some good stories, just find someone interesting and ask them the infamous question, “WHAT are you wearing”?
My interest began a couple years ago while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas. After watching one of the beach vendors have a slow day selling name bracelets for $4 each, I mentioned to him that the resort behind me had close to 40 guests from Western Washington. I suggested if he made bracelets that said “Seahawks”, his sales should increase exponentially. After showing him the proper color combination, Garcia went home that night and got to work. I’m happy to report that he showed up at the beach the next morning with 100 Seahawks bracelets, and promptly sold every single one. I still wear mine to every game I attend.
My good friend Lisa has a similar story she shared with me recently. After buying one of her beautifully beaded Seahawks necklaces, I asked how she made them. Here is the incredible story behind her beaded jewelry:
“I have a childhood friend who is an inmate at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell, WA. The inmates are allowed to do crafts, especially if it’s associated with their religion or culture. My friend, Tom, is in the dog training program with some Native American inmates who have befriended him. This friendship allows him to attend the annual pow-wow held at the prison and I have been invited as a guest for the past two years. As a Native American myself, I’ve witnessed how this cultural experience within the prison walls is a great outlet for the Native men and I wanted to find a way to support them while they were incarcerated. Many of the guys are very talented with beads so I asked how I could help them out; I buy beads and have them shipped to the prison and the guys use their creative talents to create awesome Seahawks jewelry for me. I sell the jewelry to my friends and use the money to buy more beads. It’s a win-win, these guys know how much everyone loves their creations and buying beads for them allows them to continue to work on their craft and be creative while supporting the Seahawks! The majority of the inmates are from Washington State and are Seahawk fans, they get together and watch the games, it’s one brief outlet for them, to escape their reality while they’re cheering on the Hawks! When I visit the prison, I usually wear some type of Seahawk clothing and always a piece of their jewelry. It always puts a smile on their faces and I get “Go Hawks” as I walk past the guys. Coyote Ridge Corrections Center, home of the 12th Inmate!! LOL!” – Lisa B.
And my last, but definitely not least, favorite new piece of clothing is something I keep close at heart (literally). You see, there is a company making what every fan wants (and needs) for those cold winter games – a battery pack heated vest. These vests are a well kept secret with NFL teams, as they have been ordering them for some time. For fans, the heated vest is perfect for those cold games, and its super thin fits under anything. Just slip your favorite jersey over the top, turn on your four setting battery, and enjoy the game in warmth! The vest lasts 1 ½ hours on high, and sells for around $120. While these vests may soon be selling at Costco and Amazon, if like me, you can’t wait that long, you can order one through firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a few more “fun” items to wear to your next game, here are some more of my favorite items and websites:
Jenny Goos has been our most frequent guest over the past 50 shows, she was a clear choice to bring on Episode 50 with her recent selection as STAR 101.5's 12th Woman of the week.
Follow her on Twitter @JenGoos44