I was never bothered by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the pre-game playing of the national anthem. I thought he had every right to do it, and I didn’t correlate the gesture to disrespecting our country or the military. Absent his choice of socks, I regarded Kaepernick’s protest against police brutality and racial inequality to be peaceful and dignified – in its own way, even subtle.
Many, including our president, disagree and are attempting to force the NFL into a stark choice: Players either stand during the national anthem or face suspension or dismissal. Personally, I don’t think it’s part of President Donald Trump’s purview to inform the league what constitutes a fireable offense. An owner has the right to fire or not to sign Kaepernick. An owner also can allow peaceful dissent on the field if he so chooses. Trump should stay out of the matter entirely – the NFL is not an arm of the federal government after all.