NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is biracial, refused to stand for the National Anthem at preseason games over treatment of “black people and people of color.” Some praised him, and others denounced him.
Sheriff David Clarke said on Fox News that Kaepernick “reinforces the stereotype of the dumb jock. He was no idea what he’s talking about. Sure, he’s free [not to stand]. I don’t think this is a rights issue, because no government entity is trying to take his freedom away to express himself.” But comportment matters.
Movie director Spike Lee contrasted the reaction to Kaepernick’s stance to that of the late Muhammad Ali, who refused to fight in the Vietnam War. Sheriff Clarke said the comparison is an insult to Ali.
“Look, I love this country,” he said. “I love everything that it stands for. I salute the flag every chance I get. And I’m tired of this [America] bashing that’s been going on by the left and the Democrats for some time. Our colleges and universities are now teaching generations of kids to hate America and what it stands for. I believe, like Ronald Reagan said, it is that shining city on a hill, a beacon for the entire world to see.”
Host Stuart Varney believes the NFL should create a rule to require players to stand for the Anthem.
The sheriff agrees. As a private entity, the league can create such a rule. In fact, the NFL doesn’t have to go that far, Sheriff Clarke said. He implied that individual teams can require players to stand.
Shame on 49ers coach Chip Kelly, the sheriff said. When the coach found out what his player planned to do, he could have told Kaepernick that he was going to stand as a member of the team.
Sheriff Clarke probably speaks for many Americans when he said he doesn’t want politics mixed with entertainment. The NFL has been a successful form of entertainment. Will people lose interest if players start refusing to stand during the anthem of a country that provided them with so much success?