Colin Kaepernick’s rejection of the flag in 2016 was like the first stage of a hydrogen bomb; explosive elements of race, politics, and patriotism were packed into place and about to make a raging fireball. But why is the fallout still so dense and acrimonious?
Miles of opinion columns covered the surprising divisiveness over an athlete’s body position during the national anthem. Is it a noble gesture over race inequality, a flat rejection of America, or a symbol of our fractious political mood? Most likely, Kaepernick and his mates are just prima donnas with giant shoulder pads. Regardless of their motives, the reaction of the country is showing us a few things about ourselves.
Most of us feel dissing dead soldiers is at least peevish and ungrateful. But for those who live for football, this was another 9/11, an assault on things they hold virtuous and dear. And why