The World as i see it
Shared from his facebook... What are your thoughts?
August 29 at 8:28am · An Open Letter to Colin Kaepernick,
Dear Colin guess you have been pretty busy these last few days. For the record I don’t think any more or less of you for not standing for the National Anthem. Honestly, I never thought that much about you, or any professional athlete for that matter, to begin with. I’ve read your statement a few times and want you to know I am one of the reasons you are protesting. You see I am a retired police officer that had the misfortune of having to shoot and kill a 19-year-old African American male. And just like you said, I was the recipient of about $3,000 a month while on leave which was a good thing because I had to support a wife and three children under 7-years-old for about 2 months with that money. Things were pretty tight because I couldn’t work part time. Every police officer I’ve ever known has worked part-time to help make ends meet.
You know Colin the more I think about it the more we seem to have in common. I really pushed myself in rehab to get back on the street, kind of like you do to get back on the field. You probably have had a broken bone or two and some muscle strains and deep bruising that needed a lot of work. I just had to bounce back from a gunshot wound to the chest and thigh. Good thing we both get paid when we are too banged up to “play”, huh? We both also know what it’s like to get blindsided. You by a 280- pound defensive end, ouch! Me, by a couple of rounds fired from a gun about 2 feet away, into my chest and thigh. We also both make our living wearing uniforms, right? You have probably ruined a jersey or two on the field of play. I still have my blood stained shirt that my partner and paramedics literally ripped off my back that cold night in January. Fortunately, like you I was given a new one. Speaking of paramedics aren’t you glad the second we get hurt trainers and doctors are standing by waiting to rush onto the field to scoop us up. I’m thankful they get to you in seconds. It only took them about 10 minutes to get to me. By the grace of God, the artery in my thigh didn’t rupture or else 10 minutes would have been about 9 minutes too late. We also have both experienced the hate and disgust others have just because of those uniforms we wear. I sure am glad for your sake that the folks who wear my uniform are on hand to escort you and those folks that wear your uniform into stadiums in places like Seattle!
I guess that’s where the similarities end Colin. You entertain for a living, I and almost 800,000 others across this country serve and protect. Are there some bad apples within my profession? Absolutely and they need to be identified and fired or arrested! But you know what, the vast majority do the right thing, the right way, for the right reason. Did I mention that seconds before I was shot, an elderly African American gentleman walking down the sidewalk, turned to my partner and I as we rode past and said, “Get them.” Get who you ask? The thugs terrorizing an otherwise good and decent neighborhood, home to dozens of good, decent African American families trying to raise those families in communities not protected by gates and security guards. No these folks and families depend on America’s Law Enforcement Officers.
Colin I have buried 7 friends, killed in the line of duty and three others who have committed suicide. I have attended more funerals than I care to remember of neighboring departments who have lost officers in the line of duty, during my career. Law Enforcement Officers with different backgrounds, upbringings, and experiences united by their willingness to answer the call to protect and serve their fellow citizens.
Colin I am sorry for the endorsement deals you may lose and the dip in jersey sales, but please know you will NEVER lose what these men and women and their families have lost. And so whether you stand or sit during the National Anthem means very little to me. As for me and the men and women on whose team I was privileged to serve, we will put on our ballistic vests, badge, and gun, kiss our loved one’s goodbye, for some tragically for the last time, and out into a shift of uncertainty we will go. We will continue to protect and continue to serve and we will be standing at attention Colin, not just for the playing of our National Anthem, but far more importantly for the playing of Taps.
My television has been full of news reports of you refusing to stand for the national anthem. You say you won't honor the flag of a country where police officers aren't punished for taking lives. Today, I see that, though you have angered so many, disappointed just as many, and puzzled many more, you stand behind your protest. I also learn you aren't the first. Common sense tells me you won't be the last of your type meaning someone who has been elevated to star status for athletic ability. Someone who has so many children and young people looking up to you, watching every move you make. Someone who some consider to be a hero. Yes, there are others like you. I won't mention their names here. Everyone knows who they are. Others who have chosen to research and learn about the few rogue and abusive cops out there. Others who have decided to take this as your cause, to be proactive, to speak out. You have all been worried and stand with what you have yourself termed oppressed people. You use your platform to try to have large impact as so many do see you as a hero. I want to tell you what I see as a hero. Let me first say that I don't disagree with your decision to speak out on a cause that you feel strongly about. For that, I applaud you. I even support you. I also don't believe that a police officer should hide behind a badge to commit an intentional murder. What I don't agree with is how you have chosen to do this. Let me explain why. Let's go back to this word hero...
I see my two 5th great grandfathers who fought as Patriots against the British for that flag you hate as heroes. Yes, I wanted to mention that first as the original Patriots, well did you know that only three percent of the people living here fought for this country in that war? Only three percent! Only twenty percent were brave enough to actually support the war. And only three percent fought. See, the people had been oppressed by the British government for so long, that I would guess most were just scared. So, being descended from two patriots is a big deal. My family has not let that honor down either. Our men have gone on to serve in every war that we have fought in this country. Going to fight in a war is also a very big deal. The men say goodbye to their parents, their wives, their children, their homes... they leave. They don't know if they will ever come home again. You see, there are no guarantees. They go to fight for the cause of freedom. For that flag. That flag you refuse to stand up for. Right this minute, as I write this, my daughter's husband, love of her life, father of her children, pride of our family, is an airman. He sits at his stationed base, waiting to be called for his turn to go and participate in air raids against ISIS in the Middle East. We worry. We watch the news and pour over every article. We don't want him to go. We are afraid. I really worry as you see, they are stationed over a day's drive away from home. I don't get to see my daughter. I don't get to see my grandchildren. You know Colin, I never imagined having grandchildren that would grow up not really knowing me too well. I always imagined them coming over each weekend and going to eat lunch with them at school. But, I don't say much. I am a support. I sit here terrified, watching the news, downplaying to my daughter just how dangerous I believe it is over there, in an effort to make us both feel better. If and when my son in law is called, we will cry but we will also stand proud. You see, you made the comment that rogue police actions were bigger than football, bigger than us all. Well, one thing I can guarantee you is bigger. The sacrifice of the members of the military and their families all over this country who actually go out and fight for that flag. These people, the ones who go out and fight for our freedoms, these are the heroes of our society.
Let's talk about them for another minute. I hope that I am not boring you? The heroes past and present that go out and fight for our flag. Remember, the one you refuse to get your rear off the bench for. They also have contracts. They have to sign contracts with the government for their terms of service just like you all do in football. The difference Colin is they don't get contracts worth 114 million. They don't get endorsements from companies for athletic wear or sports drinks or well, anything at all. As a matter of fact, their entire career won't even show them one million dollars. Yet, they do it anyway. They go out there and risk their lives for our country, for our rights, for freedom. They do it for very little pay, obviously, by the actions of some, for very little to no respect, and not even for recognition. Isn't that something? After all, they don't have balls thrown at them if they go to war. No, its bullets or bombs that get thrown their way. Now why do they do this do you think? I'm gonna leave that question right here. You can come to your own conclusion.
I have had lots of advice from well meaning friends. They wanted me to add questions asking why speak out now? Why not speak out on Islamic slavery happening today or how the Islamic faith treats women and even on domestic violence and other issues happening within the league. I don't want to go into that though. The total disrespect of the American flag is enough for one letter. I even had one person say that you and people of your status wouldn't care what I had to say. I should hope that isn't true. After all, it is my family members combined with the family members of a million other families that have given you the right to choose to disrespect the flag as the vehicle to get your message out there. The first amendment. It's a great right isn't it? It is also the amendment that gives me the right to write this to you. It is also the right that I will use to urge others to never buy anything else with your number or your face again and to write to or call any of your sponsors and urge them to drop you. Not that I think you will care at all. I don't. After all, this country and the freedoms that it gives, along with the laws and customs that we have, have made you rich and successful beyond anyone's wildest dreams.
I hope that you will think about everything that you are hearing and reading. I hope that you will continue to support your cause as it is a cause definitely worth supporting, but I hope that you will apologize for your disrespect of our beloved America's flag and find another, more positive way to get your message out. Of course, if you don't do that, then the first amendment will continue to protect you in your endeavors. Can you imagine just one thing really quickly Colin before I close? Can you imagine being a young soldier far from home? Can you imagine the fiercest gun battle you can think of? In the dark. Being scared, no terrified. Can you imagine having the guts to keep going because you see, in the light of the bombs, your flag still waving over Fort McHenry? Can you imagine seeing that so loved flag, remembering the freedoms it stands for and all the loved ones who also stand under it, and knowing that you can keep going because what it represents is still intact? Can you imagine keeping going to keep what it does represent intact as you know that everything you have and will ever have comes from that land? I won't pretend to know what someone as yourself, who has lived such an entitled and successful American life thinks of on a daily basis, but I will tell you that I can speak for those of us raised in a working class family, barely on the upside of poverty, well we think of things like that. We love this country, we love that flag, and we love that anthem. It gives us what is probably that same full chested feeling of pride that you get catching a football. We defend it and support it without question. We know that we have our problems of many kinds within this country. We just tend to believe they can be worked out without doing something such as you have chosen to do. Yet, this is, once again, your first amendment right. I have no doubt that you will continue to use this right as you have said you will.
And my family will continue to stay at the ready to defend your right to what that first amendment affords you... by fighting for our flag and all that it stands for. We, and so many others, will never agree with you and your choice of using your first amendment rights to disrespect that beautiful flag. But, we will defend forever your use of that first amendment. Think about that today Colin. Just think about that.