Heroes are made, not born. And according to students at the University of Maryland, San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick made himself into a hero last Friday when he refused to stand for the playing of the national anthem.
According to Campus Reform, which took its cameras to the university’s campus, one student said, “I think what he did was great, it’s heroic, it’s sending a message,” while another concurred, telling interviewer Cabot Phillips, “I would say it’s pretty heroic. I respect people who stand up for what they believe in.”
One might quibble with her use of the metaphor “stand up for what they believe in” to describe someone who refused to stand.
But the fun (read “revealing”) part of the interview came when Phillips asked students to recite “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the poem that provides the lyrics of the national anthem. The majority of them, he writes, could not.
Here’s the video:
These students are not alone in their praise for Kaepernick or in fostering the implication that the anthem is in some way “a celebration of slavery,” as one writer put it. LU’s Joe Newby has more on this aspect of the story at Conservative Firing Line.
In the meantime, those who believe that Colin Kaepernick behaved heroically or demonstrated bravery, as the mother of performer Beyoncé put it, should be asked to explain how. It is easy to show disrespect for the flag or the national anthem in a country like ours, which promotes free expression. If Kaepernick’s supporters or the athlete himself want to know the risks of showing disrespect — even unintentionally — in a nation that oppresses its citizens, they should ask former North Korean Vice Premier for Education Kim Yong-Jin. Of course, they might have difficulty. Kim was executed for “bad posture” and falling asleep at a state meeting.