MSN- San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick told reporters on Tuesday that he has received death threats in the weeks since he began his national anthem protest.
"If something like that were to happen, you've proved my point,” Kaepernick said, according to the Bay Area News Group, noting he had not brought the threats to security's attention for that reason. “It'll be loud and clear for everyone why it happened, and that would move this movement forward at a greater speed than what it is even now.
“Granted, it’s not how I want it to happen, but that’s the realization of what could happen. I knew there were other things that came along with this when I first stood up and spoke about it. It’s not something I haven’t thought about.”
Given the state of stupidity in this country, I understand that every death threat - no matter it's origin - needs to be taken seriously. So no, I'm certainly not saying we should be ignoring the thousands upon thousands of people who were undoubtedly too unintelligible to respond to a quarterback kneeling during the National Anthem with anything other than a detailed description about how they were going to kill said quarterback on behalf of America. After all, it's those that aren't smart enough to articulate their opinion in a semi-productive way that are probably most likely to do something excessively dumb. Still - as much as I hope the proper safety precautions have been taken to ensure Colin Kaepernick's well being - I simply cannot act like this is news.
I won't pretend I am surprised that the guy that sent the country into a month long tailspin by making people acknowledge the United States' problems during the playing of a song in which we are supposed to thoughtlessly honor the United States is receiving threats on his life. Hell, I would go as far as to say that he accepted that consequence when he decided to become the unofficial face of change. Why do you think that it took so long for someone to do it? It's not those with a rational, thought-out argument as to why we should salute the flag regardless of what it represents to us that keep critics silent and maintain the status quo. It's the people that were dropping hard 'N' bombs before "....and the home of the brave" was even finished that are a deterrent to public activism. It's those posting pictures of their shotguns on social media with the caption "git out uh ir country" that make people think twice about taking a stand on important, polarizing issues. It's the lunatics that still send letters that use them to intimidate public figures into abiding by the social norms they deem acceptable. I would go as far as to say that having any opinion on anything in 2016 leaves you vulnerable to at least a twitter threat or two. Of course that's the case when your opinion, and subsequent actions, challenge peoples' glorified view of the nation they call home. That obviously doesn't make it right, but it does make it a necessary evil.