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Charlotte, NC - September 18, 2016: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) walks off the field at Bank of America Stadium with his fist up in the air after their game against the Panthers.(Gerry Melendez for ESPN)

Is Colin Kaepernick really a thug?

Everybody knows of Colin Kaepernick and his kneeling before the national anthem, and of course his so doing has made him an enemy to many. And that’s fine if you feel a person expressing their opinion in this country is a bad thing. But is it really a bad thing that Kaepernick lives in a country where he has a right to believe what he wants? After all, I thought that was what that flag stood for. Unfortunately, lots of people today feel that you only have a right to express yourself if they agree with your expression. But that is not all that this article is about; like the situation Kaepernick currently finds himself in, it’s about much more.

The Grueling Truth ran an article on Colin Kaepernick on Sunday morning, and some of the Facebook comments about him were outrageous. On at least five occasions, I saw Colin referred to as a thug. I also saw him referred to as a Muslim multiple times.So what would lead people to call Kap a thug? I thought I would do a little research to see if he was and what I found was very enlightening.

First off, there was that time early in his career when, after a 50-yard touchdown run against the Miami Dolphins, Kaepernick crooked his right arm and in a kissing gesture pressed his facemask to the bicep, where a tattoo artist had etched the word “Faith” near a Bible verse. You know most “thugs” have “Faith” tattooed on their bicep. [Not to mention the legions of Moslems who have Christian teachings inked onto the skin, eh? –Ed.]

Here is another sign of a thug: Going into his senior year at Pittman, Kaepernick met with counselor Philip Sanchez, who told him that his course load and 4.3 weighted GPA easily met all of the NCAA requirements. So why not take the easy way out his senior year, Sanchez suggested, as they looked at an open slot on his schedule? Protect that perfect “A” record, and take a free period or work as a teacher’s aide. It’s what seniors do. “Kaepernick said ‘I don’t want a free period. What else is there?’”

Sanchez later told media. “There was a psychology class, so he took that.” “Thugs” are notorious for their commitment to excellence in the classroom.

Did I mention that Kaepernick once turned down an offer of at least $30,000 from the Chicago Cubs before his senior year at the University of Nevada? The Cubs had drafted him in the 43rd round a year earlier and now only wanted him to go down to their Arizona complex and throw for a month, just to see whether he could be a major league pitcher someday. Kaepernick said no. The reason? He had promised the Nevada coaching staff that he would commit himself to being the best possible quarterback that he could be before his senior season. Keep in mind that NCAA rules would have allowed him to do it and he would NOT have been penalized. He felt it was more important to keep his word because that is what “thugs” do!

I bet the people who called him a thug would be surprised to know that Kaepernick comes from an extraordinary family, with white parents and two white siblings. But I am sure that anybody who called him a thug knew that (sarcasm)!

In the end, the only thing that Kap has done is not stand during the national anthem. Why did he choose not to stand? This is what he said: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Am I defending his comments by writing this? No, but I am defending his right to do as he sees fit. I think there were better ways he could have gotten his point across, but it is his right as an American to protest. I also defend your right as a fan to not buy his jersey or even boycott the NFL. Once again, living in America means you have a right to do whatever you want as long as your decisions do not adversely affect others. At least that’s what America used to stand for, not so much anymore. Now it seems if your opinion is not the majority will then you better just keep quiet!

Can you really tell me with a straight face that Kap is not good enough to at least be a backup QB in the NFL right now? He threw 16 TD passes last year with only 4 interceptions and had a QB rating of 90.7! How can Kaepernick not be on an NFL roster? Come on, multiple NFL players have driven drunk, killed people and been allowed to play, but Kap didn’t stand for the national anthem, so he is out! A lot of people will say that he causes too much of a distraction so that’s why he won’t be signed! Give me a break! Brett Favre was a two-time sexual harasser, but nobody was so offended that he was too big of a distraction to play. Greg Hardy was on an NFL roster last year, so domestic violence is not too big of a distraction I guess. I could go on forever about guys who have done worse things than Kap and are bigger distractions, but they somehow find a roster spot.

There are very few quarterbacks who could put up the numbers Kap did last year, so he could basically be at least a backup for any team. Remember just a few short years ago he led a team to the Super Bowl and damn near won it! Right now the NFL is defending themselves by pushing the narrative in their bought and paid for media that nobody wants Kap because he is not very good and he is too big of a distraction. I say that is complete nonsense! Look at his stats last year on a bad team, he can obviously still play.

The Seattle Seahawks need a backup for Russell Wilson and head coach Pete Carroll said that Kap is a starting NFL QB, yet the Seahawks brought him in and didn’t sign him. How does that make sense? So you need a backup, you think Kap could be a starter, but yet you don’t sign him! That simply does not make sense. Does anybody really believe that Mike Glennon, Cody Kessler and numerous other NFL “starters” are better than Kap? Of course not, but he doesn’t believe what people want him to believe. Look at it like this, if Mike Glennon had last year attained a 90+ QB rating and a 4:1 TD-to-interception ratio, how much money do you think he would have made? I will tell you he would be a multi-millionaire!

Again, give me a break. I am sick of this crap where certain people are given privileges while others are thrown under the bus. Kap is an NFL QB, it’s as simple as that. And what he believes should have no bearing on that.

I would like to make one thing clear: If you think Kap is a thug, well, you are a racist! There is no way to call this man a thug and not be. Where is his long arrest record? When was he last accused of sexual harassment? When was he involved in a drive-by shooting or domestic violence? The answer to all of those is he hasn’t been. So if you call him a thug, you either A) are a racist, or B) do not believe in the Constitution of the United States of America. So which is it?

Finally, everybody please take a look at a representative comment from Rus Halvorson, who obviously was an English major, and his take on this situation below. Troubling as it is, looking at social media reveals that many share these troubling sentiments. I don’t think anybody died for somebody like Rus to make statements like these, but I do think they fought and died so Kap could make his statements.

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  • Paul Sipe

    Oh yeah, freedom of speech is one of the tenants the flag “stands” for. Your article clearly states the facts, CK is neither a Muslim, or thug. However; perhaps he should have taken a business class instead of psychology. He isn’t working because the NFL is a money making machine, and he was in the defacto lead role of his NFL team. Football is part of American culture, and many of its fan might be less than interested to follow a leader, who’s opinion is to discredit the very flag/country/society that made his millions possible. I respect him for kneeling down for what he believes in, but I don’t think his 4.3 GPA served him very well outside the classroom. No one stopped him from showing his opinion, so he was afforded freedom of speech. But Freedom isn’t free! And, speaking your mind when in the limelight does not come without consequences. Remember how well the Dixie Chicks future windfalls were impacted when they decided to mix politics and music. Mike, your article is one sided, but I believe its missing the point. You are trying to point out unfair treatment of CK by posters comments, many of which, I agree, are lashing out in the wrong direction and misguided. You completely dismiss the business angle of what is happening. The NFL owners are not going to sign a financial Leper.

    • devilinpgh

      I guess that class you were suggesting was Whitesplaining 101?