Colin Kaepernick, Donald Trump, the NFL, President Obama, and Hillary Clinton

(1) American-FlagWhat is worse: refusing to stand for the United States flag during the playing of the national anthem or refusing to fight for the flag when called to do your duty?

When I left for my vacation  I still had the feeling that some big type of war would break out probably involving a Russian or Iranian indiscretion. Happy days would then be over as the stock market crumbles, our nation goes into a semi-panic when we recognize freedom is not free and we may need more than just the “volunteer troops” to protect us and my vacation would end.

Fortunately that did not happen yet.  However the news about Colin Kaepernick’s position that he will no longer stand for the playing of the National Anthem was too irresistable to ignore. So I pulled over my VW bus and entered this library to briefly interrupt my vacation with this post

Thus I pose the question because Donald Trump spoke out about Kaepernick’s actions by saying: “I think it’s personally not a good thing, I think it’s a terrible thing. And maybe he should find a country that works better for him, let him try, it won’t happen.”

I’m sure a lot of people feel that way but shouldn’t we look at this more broadly and ask the question I did in the beginning. We know Trump ducked putting on the nation’s uniform during war and let some other young kid without influence serve in his place. I would hope you would think that is worse than refusing to stand for the flag. I know many others did this so we don’t get too excited about it. But having done it and then to want to become commander-in-chief of the military is a terrible thing.

Even worse than Trump is the NFL owners. You may remember that there was a rumor that the NFL was planning to ban the playing of the National Anthem at its games. That may be the only way it will be able to extricate itself from the difficulties that it now faces with Kaepernick’s action. The owners live in dread that this black lives matter-type protest might spread to other players especially considering the majority of its players are black. Imagine the picture it would present if many of the black players refused to stand for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner in front of the almost 100% white spectators?

This is the huge fear of the highly publicity-conscious NFL owners. The NFLplayers have already been urged to follow Kaepernick’s example by Shaun King a columnist for the NY Daily News who also will never stand for the National Anthem until another song replaces the one written by Francis Scott Key who King calls “a terrible human being.”

The initial NFL response to Kaepernick’s actions was according to one report “NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, “players are encouraged but not required to stand during the playing of the national anthem“.

If that is truly the NFL stand then it too has little respect for our nation’s flag. I say that because the NFL had page after page of actions the players are required to follow. It tells a guy like Greg Hardy he cannot wear his face paint. It has other rules like:

 Players are not permitted to wear bandanas, stockings, or other unapproved headwear anywhere on the field during pregame, game, or postgame periods, even if such items are under the helmet.– – Towels are limited to a maximum of four inches wide and 12 inches long and must be tucked into the front waist of the pants.– The exterior stocking must be a one-piece unit solid white from the top of the shoe to the mid-point of the lower leg, with approved team color or colors from that midpoint to the top of the stocking.- – Tape worn over footwear must be the same color as the dominant color of the shoe”.

It is hard to believe the NFL rules a player cannot put his lucky handkerchief under his helmet but he does not have to stand during the playing of the National Anthem. The next question to consider is why does the respect for our flag mean so little to the owners of the NFL.

Then there’s President Obama whose spokesperson says he hasn’t spoken to him about it even though he is aware of Kaepernick’s actions. And, of course, we have no reaction from Hillary Clinton as expected.

I have to admit it saddens me that our president and the president-to-be do not have the courage to condemn the action of Kaepernick. Sure he has the right to do what he did but they have the obligation to say it is an outrageous disrespect and denigration of our country.

Perhaps the best question is what is worse a president and one who will be president who refuse to condemn the actions of those who publicly disrespect our nation’s flag or a draft dodger running for president who does condemn the action?

18 thoughts on “Colin Kaepernick, Donald Trump, the NFL, President Obama, and Hillary Clinton

  1. Dien Cai Dau (crazy in the head)

    Tongues of fire stab the sky;
    fiery discharge from the mouths of serried bells

    Thunder rumbles through still air;
    death’s express trained on someone’s nowhere.

    Dark clouds roil in the distance;
    destruction’s twisted smoke.

    A shrill bird sings.
    The pockmarked face of mother earth
    recoils at the touch of invading ghosts.

    Foot follows foot through mud and tall grass;
    torment is a green maze.

    Turn, twist, walk in paranoid silence;
    nightmare topiary.
    No exit,
    only a door to Hell

    Lives rush past terror-filled eyes;
    spirits leak into the earth.
    There is no requiem—
    only keening women to pipe us on.

  2. Matt:

    The recently deceased IS spokesman, al-Adnani, will be replaced by Turki ibn Mubarak al-Binali. IS has a deep bench. They’re well prepared to take casualties.

  3. If you are interested in reading about heroin use in VN, check out “The CIA and the Politics of Heroin in SE Asia” by Alfred McCoy (UW Madison WI). Educate yourself. Even better, talk to someone who was there ’69-’70, particularly, guys who did their year in the rear. The big bases were awash in dope.

    1. As I said, the use of heroin in Vietnam was vastly exaggerated. I personally have lifelong friends and relatives who served there; I know hundreds who served there: relatives, close friends, acquaintances, classmates; I know a few who came home addicted; my close friend Tommy died decades later of a heroin overdose; my friend Phil may have succumbed to drugs; I’ve read all the statistics; acquaint yourself with unbiased studies (CDC, VA, NIDA) and unbiased surveys (PEW) and stop reading leftist academics with political axes to grind. Re-educate yourself.
      2. You have a constitutional right of free speech/free expression; you have the right to burn the American flag and I have a right to contemptuously condemn you who do!

  4. FYI:
    A VA study showed no difference in the use of drugs by Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans. Drug use, throughout society, however, had increased by the late 1960s. Hard drug use was less then than today. Urine testing was done by 1969-70. I’d guess no more than 5% smoked opium; 20% smoked grass. Even today, with 48,000 overdose deaths, only 2% of Americans (over age 12) have used a hard drug in the past year and 10% have smoked grass in the past year. 49% of Americans admit smoking grass at least once during their lifetime, with only 12% current users according to Pew Research. Statistics vary. 96% of Vietnam Veterans were honorably discharged.
    The following seems like an accurate summary.
    “It should be noted that Morgan Murphy, the congressman who led the study that claimed 10-15% of soldiers were addicted to heroin, later rejected the results of that study. Academics are still debating the extent of drug use in Vietnam. Lee Robbins has stated that as many as 40% of US soldiers tried some type of hard drug, while 50% of those became addicted. A new book by Jeremy Kuzmarov gives a much lower number, saying that only about 5% tried hard drugs like heroin or opium. Moreover, the use of hard drugs, alcohol, and marijuana occurred for the most part in the rear lines instead of the front-lines of battle and occurred infrequently. This “myth” of rampant drug use in Vietnam was created for several reasons and was exploited by both political parties.”

  5. ’64-’66 were the patriotic years of the VN war. By ’67, Causalities were mounting, and, the reasoning behind the war began to be challenged. Operations in the Central Highlands were bloody and inconclusive. The draft, never popular, was now dreaded. Tet ’68 completely turned the tide. On the ground, combat refusals, and, fraggings ( and/or, the threat, of them) became common. By ’69, the troops had become sullen, and, heroin was taking off in the rear areas. After Cambodia, everything began to wind-down.
    So many guys were too strung-out to return home, the services had to establish detox facilities in VN. You couldn’t go home, if you couldn’t pass a pee test.

  6. Trump just had a great meeting with the President of Mexico.

    Killery Rotten Klinton was invited but didn’t go.

    No doubt because the President of Mexico didn’t donate to the Klinton Krime Foundation.

  7. Where was the outrage and revulsion when Trump accepts a Purple Heart-“I always wanted one of these…” ? No VFW/Amvets/American Legion or public outcry.

    No problem with Savvy/Southie guys pounding down Dom’s door to get in the reserves.

    Matt, what was the percentage drop in the Naval Academy in those opting for the Marines?

    Nobody has a corner of the market when it comes to trotting out the “….last refuge of a scoundrel”.

  8. OK, let me get this straight.

    A football player, who is half black and half white, but was adopted by a white family, is going to sit on his ass – literally – until things are “right” in this country.

    In the meantime, he gets paid an average of $19 million.

    And – he has bashed Killery Rotten Klinton.

    ——– just unloaded on Hillary Clinton.

    “We have a presidential candidate who has deleted emails and done things illegally and is a presidential candidate,” he said, referring to the 15,000 emails Clinton “wiped” from her private, unsecured server she used during her tenure as secretary of State. “That doesn’t make sense to me.”———

    As the song goes – “great work if you can get it – and you can get it if you try.”

    I would be far, far more concerned about how Killery Rotten Klinton got away with crime – again – than I would be with a football player sitting on his ass.

    And apparently so is Kaepernick

    PS – My number was 244. I don’t think that the FBI should have rolled over for Killery Rotten Kriminal, and I don’t think the AG should have rolled over for Killery Rotten Kriminal. It smacks of stalinism, it smacks of soviet union fixes, and it stinks to high heaven.

  9. 1. Most people finished high school or college, then simply enlisted or were drafted, complying with the law. About 20 million were eligible; 8 million served during the Vietnam War; @ 2.5 million served in Vietnam. Some got high numbers in the Dec. 1969 lottery and were exempt. I got School Deferments, then a high number, over 300. Post-Vietnam, in 1974 I became a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service and served Uncle Sam for 2 years. Many friends and relatives served during Vietnam and in Vietnam. There was much opposition to the Vietnam War, but few took extraordinary measures to avoid the draft.
    2. Jimmy Hendrix played the National Anthem at Woodstock: “Although contemporary political pundits described his interpretation as a statement against the Vietnam War, three weeks later Hendrix explained its meaning: ‘We’re all Americans … it was like ‘Go America!’… We play it the way the air is in America today. The air is slightly static, see’.”
    3. The air in America is “slightly static” today, too.

    1. Hendricks talking to the man about the man. Woodstock was a tribal, rather than, patriotic event.

  10. If any of you guys were of draft age between 1966-69, you’d be less self-righteous about draft dodging. No one wanted to go. Every ruse was permissible. Too fat, too thin, too nuts, too gay. Guys would try anything. By ’69, draft dodging had become an industry. Remember Parson’s College?

    In the first week of Tet 1968, US KIA were over two-eighty. Only ticket-punching officers, and, rear area lifers, were trying to go to Vietnam in the late sixties.

  11. There is draft dodging and there is draft dodging. To take advantage of exceptions afforded by law may appear to some to be draft dodging, but it is at most a parking ticket variety. Then there is committing illegal or immoral acts to avoid service, for instance, obtaining a deferment by lying and refusing to honor a contract a la Bill Clinton. That is more of felony draft dodging. As a man offended by Trump, did you vote for Clinton in 1992 and/or 1996? If so, how do you explain sensitivity about Trump’s record?

  12. Matt: First on Kaepernick: From a conservative website: “In July 2016, Kaepernick converted to Islam during the offseason AND he is engaged to Nessa Diab, a Black Lives Matter activist who promotes what she calls ‘authentic Islam.’ The Kaepernicks will soon have a traditional Muslim wedding.” Diab, a D.J., constantly rants about Islamophobia. She and he will join the ranks of hate-spewing anti-American Islamicists in this country. Hillary wants to welcome more “raised fists”!
    2. On Draft-dodgers: Many voted for the draft-dodger Bill Clinton without blinking an eye. Also, everyone in college during the Vietnam War got four years of 2S deferments. Who is to say if Trump’s post-college “bone spurs” were not legit? Certainly Bill’s several flights to Oxford seemed like draft-evading.
    3. On a positive note, Trump’s veep Mike Pence has a son serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.

  13. The owners have purchased the bodies of NFL players, but, not their minds. Why should players of color bow down before the proprieties of the bourgeois white over-culture?

    Marcuse said, ” American blacks are rebellious, but, not yet revolutionary ( Counter-Revolution and Revolt).” Perhaps, the revolution has finally started. Good for Kaepernick. Raise high that hammer fist!

  14. Kaepernick stood for the national anthem as a starter and now chooses to sit as a second stringer,a position that he will become more familiar with once the season begins.He should however keep his helmet on.

  15. Nice post, Matt, with good insights as usual. But “…almost 100% white spectators…?” Hmm…

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