In some other quarters, people are praising the biracial quarterback (obviously raised well by Rick and Teresa Kaepernick) for taking a stand against state-sanctioned violence against black people in this country.


This is especially significant because although football is one of the most conservative American sports (save for baseball), there have always been players (Jim Brown, the Mizzou football team) who have taken principled political stances against wrong.

Yet some of Kaepernick’s cohorts and peers in the NFL have come out against him, including New York Giant Victor Cruz, who said: “Regardless of how you feel about the things that are going on in America today and the things that are going on across the world with gun violence and things of that nature, you’ve got to respect the flag. And you’ve got to stand up with your teammates. … I think you go up there, you’re with a team and you go and you pledge your allegiance to the flag and you sing the national anthem with your team. And then you go about your business, whatever your beliefs are.”


Maybe some of these fans and players need a lesson on the history of the national anthem and its link to slavery, or how the U.S. flag never really swung for black people here. Or maybe they can just open their eyes and observe the injustice of the present.

Or maybe if the police break Cruz’s legs when they pull him over and he can’t salsa anymore, he might get it. But maybe not.