I’m just a plainspoken Colorado criminal defense lawyer, but the way I see it…
I don’t watch much football. While I used to play the game, I was never much for watching. Sometimes I’ll watch a Bronco game (Broncos game?) — see, I don’t even know how to talk about it — with my son-in-law, but it’s really for his companionship, and the cheese dip.
So when players started taking a knee during the National Anthem, I didn’t notice it much, because I wasn’t there to see it. As a kid I stood with everybody else to take the Pledge of Allegiance. I didn’t dodge the draft. I loudly sing the National Anthem whenever I get a decent chance — some folks think I sing a little too loudly.
After a time I inadvertently learned the reason Colin Kaepernick started the movement to take a knee during the anthem. It was the same reason I’ve often written about in these pages: the continuing racial injustice people of color have experienced since the first slave was kidnaped to the American shore. In particular, the injustice they’ve suffered at the hands, and guns, of the police, the people appointed to protect and serve them.
Freddie Gray, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, and more have been mentioned here. All victims of criminal injustice. But there are hundreds more in the year since Kaepernick first fell to his knee that have not been mentioned. Thousands, over time.
Where better for an NFL player to express his protest than during the National Anthem that opens the game, when everybody is watching? During Vietnam, Buddhist monks set themselves afire in the streets because they knew the whole world was watching.
These players shouldn’t be fired for First Amendment expression, as some moron called for yesterday. They’re patriots. Patriots who believe in the American dream. That all human beings are created equal.
What about our American dream, is all they are saying.
What about our dream?