Please, spare me the sanctimony of pointing out that Colin Kaepernick has a right to protest the National Anthem. Everyone knows that.
The two points worth making at this juncture are:
1: Just because Kaepernick has a right to protest, doesn’t make the Kaepernick protest right.
2: Spinoffs of the Kaepernick protest have officially jumped the shark.
In Kaepernick’s case, the backstory is he fell in love with a Muslim girl who is a true believer in the black lives matter movement. Now he’s all jacked up about how crappy America is in allowing racial inequality, police shootings … yada, yada, yada.
I don’t agree with him. But I get the play. He goes to work in a place in which it is customary for him to stand for the National Anthem before the football game. He’s on television and usually in front of a stadium full of people (not so much lately at the 49er’s home games, but that’s another topic), so he has the motive and the opportunity to express his newly found passion.
To that, I say knock yourself out, Kaep — it’s America.
But now comes Denasia Lawrence who was given the privilege to sing the National Anthem at a preseason National Basketball Association game. She accepted the invite and then used it to sing the song on one knee, Kaepernick style.
She says she did it because “I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice.”
No, Ms. Lawrence, your responsibility was to sing the National Anthem. If you couldn’t do that, you should have declined. That would have been the classy thing to do.
When Kaepernick takes a knee, it is at a ceremony right before he goes to work. For Kaepernick and the Lawrence protest to be comparable at all, Kaepernick would have taken a knee while he was playing. He doesn’t do that. When he’s in the game, he plays as hard as he can.
And Lawrence should have done the same.
Look, if you are asked to sing the National Anthem, sing the National Anthem. Otherwise, decline the honor and make your protest elsewhere.
(Sherman Frederick is a founder of Battle Born Media – the Sparks Tribune, the Ely Times, the Eureka Sentinal, the Lincoln County Record, the Mesquite Local News and the Mineral County Independent News (Hawthorne). You can reach him at email@example.com.)