I am not one of the 49er Faithful, but I do live in that territory. I have always been a Cowboy fan, you know America’s Team, and I typically spend my time during football season getting picked on by my family and friends.
This week was kind of interesting for me though, as I seemed to be on the other side for once. Colin Kaepernick caused such a stink this week with his refusal to stand for the National Anthem. I knew nothing about it until the day after when I saw social media blowing up about the incident. Even die hard Kaep fans really gave him a tongue lashing. I wasn’t too interested in it, because my own team has it’s own quarterback problems, and it took me a day or two more to really check the situation out. I felt bad for him. I think he wanted to make a statement, but I think he may have taken the wrong road to get there. I happen to think that we as people have a very bad way of communicating, especially in these days of instant information. I believe he wanted to communicate something, but I am not sure what it was? That is why I feel bad for him.
It bums me out because we all have influence. Some of us have influence with a small group of friends, neighbors and co-workers. Some people have influence with thousands or hundreds of thousands of people. He, I believe, was probably one of the latter. People liked his unorthodox style, his background story and so many were hoping for a comeback this year. Now it is a mixed bag of anger, contempt and some who still support him. It reminds me to be thoughtful on how I communicate. I don’t want to waste the small amount of influence I may have with someone, because I was not thoughtful about my actions.
I am not a big fan of sitting through the National Anthem. I find it ironic that he is able to practice this right of “freedom of speech” by not honoring the flag that stands for that freedom. Man, you have got to love America! It is a flag that I honor, because it stands for the ideals in the Declaration of Independence. I choose to honor that flag, even though this country has never fully lived up to the standard that has been set for it. I look to that flag though in hope that we one day will.
My son called Kaep an idiot today, and I told him that he shouldn’t. I reminded him how his dad could be a little harsh when the boys were young, and had screwed up. I cannot remember how many times I said to him or his brothers as they grew older, “don’t listen to how he says it, but listen to the truth of what he says.”
I think that would be my advice to all of us today as we all seek to communicate hard truths to each other. We may have to forgive him the how, and just focus on the what.