The following is a response from someone whose opinion I respect very much, with regard to Colin Kaepernick’s protest.  I thought I would share since it’s not just my opinion that matters.  Read on …
“With regard to Kaepernick sitting down during the national anthem and wearing “cops as pigs” socks, well, I cannot claim to be unbiased or fair. However, as someone who was trained as a historian, the first thing I do is place what he did into a historical context. In this case, I would look at athletes in the past who have protested against the U.S. government and its institutions, so I’d go back to the ’68 Olympics where John Carlos and Tommy Smith gave the black power salute to protest continuing racism in the United States. Also, while everyone seems to remember Muhammed Ali with great fondness and respect, many people forget or weren’t around, when he was publically vilified for refusing induction into the Army to serve in Vietnam. So, it seems to me that what Kaepernick did by sitting down during the national anthem seems to be part of a tradition that stretches back almost half a century. I read the full text of what he said and I thought it was logically consistent and very articulate. It’s not about a lack of respect for the military or the people of the U.S. HIs is a very pointed criticism of how police are trained or not trained in this case and the deadly consequences that can (and have) resulted from that. The lack of safety that African-Americans have had at the hands of governmental authorities must also be placed into its socio-cultural historical context that began with slavery. If you are interested in reading about this, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ book, Between the World and Me is brilliantly written from both a personal and historical view. Whenever you think you know what he’s going to say next, he adds something unexpected that will surprise you and make you think differently…or at least give you the opportunity to view things differently. Personally, I couldn’t put it down that how compelling a story it is. Actually, it’s really a long letter that he is writing to his son…
P.S. I never got to the “pig socks”. In brief, I understand what he’s doing, but personally, I think wearing them is more provocative and more easily misconstrued. Does that mean that all police are “pigs”? If so, then I would argue that’s not the case, but, if you’re black, you can’t tell which cops are going to treat you with respect and which aren’t, so we’re still left with his original assertion concerning institutionalized police brutality directed primarily against people of color.”