The First Amendment provides us with freedom of religion and freedom of expression, free from government imposition. How great is that? While it’s not something we think of daily, we’re reminded of its power, especially when someone is bad-mouthing the Founders, the country, even the president.
This week, we’re talking about free speech and this week it involves ex-NFL football player Colin Kaepernick, again. You’ll recall a couple of years ago, his defenders argued he has the “right” to take a knee, refuse to stand for the national anthem, and most recently, object to the use of the Colonial flag on a new Nike sneaker. Yes, he has the right…
Nike’s use of the historic “Betsy Ross Flag” on the heel of its latest sneaker struck a nerve with Kaepernick, shortly after it came on the market to coincide with Independence Day. Kaepernick said the obscure little flag would surely offend the African-American descendants of slaves. His opinion was relayed to Nike, his sponsor of late.
While the 13 stars symbolized the 13 original colonies, Kaepernick saw “slave-holders” and the out-of-work quarterback advised Nike that the flag’s symbolism would be interpreted differently.
Apparently, the company accepted this assessment and put on its “running scared sneaks.” Nike immediately withdrew the new red and white model from shelves and stores and put out a PR statement explaining they did not want to “spoil” the patriotic holiday.
There is no need to defend Kaepernick or his right to free speech. He knows the drill, but I say that Kaepernick and others who espouse similar historic recollections overlook the way the freedom model has manifested the American dream for the sons and daughters of slavery and corrected the sins of the past.
In my view, Kaepernick is a divisive, misguided soul, with a skewed view of American history and an inflated view of who he is.