Unless you have been in a cave for the past week, you have heard at least a few opinions on the Colin Kaepernick situation. Kapernick, a San Francisco 49ers quarterback, has refused to stand for the national anthem. Here is his reasoning.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Kaepernick. “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.”
Enter Billy Hurley III, who has an interesting take on this as a pro athlete and also attended school at Navy before serving as a lieutenant until 2009.
“It’s an interesting situation, and a delicate one,” Hurley told Golf Digest. “He’s made it clear that he’s not trying to disrespect the military. He’s got his own personal issues as it pertains to race problems that he’s trying to have addressed. But I have seen where he has stressed he isn’t anti-military.”
This is true.
“I have great respect for men and women that have fought for this country,” said Kaepernick. “I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country. They fight for freedom. They fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice for everyone. And that’s not happening. People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. It’s something that’s not happening.”
The dividing line here is definitely race and police brutality, not the military. That’s a tricky line to walk though as Hurley later noted.
“Do I think there’s a better way to go about it?” Hurley said to Golf Digest. “Sure. But that is his right as an American. It’s what the military is there for. It’s not just to protect the people of this country who like America. We’re here for all citizens regardless of how they feel about things going on with the country. We take an oath to the Constitution, and to support and defend the Constitution. And he’s exercising his right under the Constitution.”
The problem Hurley sees is that this has become about not what Kaepernick originally intended for it to be about.
“I don’t know what he’s trying to do,” added Hurley. “I’m not sure he’s accomplishing what he wants to accomplish with this decision. It’s clear to me in the coverage I’ve seen that he’s not gaining much traction with his message.”
Hurley has a big week coming up at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston. He is currently No. 77 on the FedEx Cup points list, and only the top 70 make it to the third playoff event next week.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Golfer who served in Navy responds to Colin Kaepernick’s anthem protest