Matt Burke: Colin Kaepernick has the right to sit out National Anthem - Metro US

Matt Burke: Colin Kaepernick has the right to sit out National Anthem

Colin Kaepernick sat during the National Anthem last Friday night.
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Colin Kaepernick’s stand – rather, his sitting – for people he believes are being oppressed in this country occurred on a Friday night in the summer. Had he waited until the 49ers’ regular season opener against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football, this story would have been even bigger than it is right now (and it’s pretty big). The “Hot Take Brigade” would have been out in full force had Kaepernick sat for the National Anthem on National TV in two weeks – a period when all of the typical talking heads will be back from summer vacation.

Now, Kaepernick does say that he will continue to sit during National Anthems until “there’s significant change” in this country. Just a guess here, but the change Kaepernick is looking for probably won’t happen overnight, and it probably won’t happen between now and that Sept. 12 game against the Rams.

Despite the bad timing – a countless number of ex-NFL players, current and former U.S. military members, and members of the media are currently putting Kaepernick through the ringer for his actions. He’s getting heat from all sides.

Here’s one thing that must be remembered though, even if you strongly disagree with his actions: Kaepernick has every right to sit during the National Anthem.

If Kaepernick is kicked out of the league for this, if the 49ers cut him for this, if he is fined heavily for this or if some lunatic attempts to harm him because of this – then this country truly is screwed up the way Kaepernick says it is. Freedom of expression is what this country is based upon and U.S. military members have always fought for our right to express ourselves freely.

You may not agree with Kaepernick’s actions (I don’t). You may find it entirely disrespectful (I do.)

But he absolutely has the right, because he is a U.S. citizen, to do what he did last Friday night.

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