Uproxx- “Not that he wants to speak out about a very important issue. No, he can speak out about a very important issue. But there’s plenty of other ways that you can do that in a peaceful manner that doesn’t involve being disrespectful to the American flag.”
“The great thing about this country is that we have the freedoms that allow you to speak out openly about any issue. So I’m not commenting on the issue itself because any person has the right to speak out on any issue they want. That’s the great thing about being an American. But the American flag is what represents those freedoms.”
“Like, it’s an oxymoron that you’re sitting down, disrespecting that flag that has given you the freedom to speak out.”
Normally I would just blindly acquiesce to Drew Brees. That's partially because (::wipes Terrell Owens tear::) that's my quarterback, but mostly it's because he's seems like a much smarter man than myself. Unfortunately, this is going to be one of those rare instances that I don't (and I fully accept that's because I'm probably wrong). You see, I didn't agree with what Colin Kaepernick did either. Not because of what it represented, but because it feels like the childish way he chose to go about making his point actually took away from his point. Sure, he's sparked nationwide debate, but the central argument being had isn't about the obvious oppression that takes place in this country, but about whether or not a backup quarterback is an ungrateful communist. That may not have been his goal, but that's the kind of irrational backlash you spark when you dishonor the American flag.
Think about that for a second. This whole controversy is over someone refusing to stand and face a piece of cloth during a antiquated song that - in it's entirety - makes multiple references to slavery. I love the stars and stripes as much as everyone else and I think it takes a real asshole to stomp on them or light them on fire, but let's not act like every red blooded male hasn't owned a bathing suit that had that which we apparently hold so dearly resting comfortably against his scrotum. We'll literally slap the American flag on anything these days so can we stop pretending it's some divine symbol of our freedoms of which we are not worthy?
It's very clear that Colin Kaepernick could have chosen a more productive way to get his message out there but my main issue isn't that he disparaged a banner, it's that he really did nothing more than bring attention to himself in the process. When JFK coined the phrase "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" I don't think he was referring to standing at attention and staring mindlessly at a flag. Clearly I still do so, but the fact that Colin Kaepernick doesn't isn't a reason to build a wall solely to keep him out. I love Drew Brees, but if the flag is that representative of what this country provides then it's also representative of some pretty fucked up shit. Sitting on your ass doesn't cure discrimination, but neither does putting your hand over your heart and ignoring it's existence so maybe neither party is totally in the right. Whatever the case may be, it's still just a goddamn flag and our nation has far too many problems to prioritize recognizing it above all else.