Editor’s note: This column contains strong language that may not be suitable for younger readers or appropriate for the workplace.
Poor Mr. Kaepernick. It is so unfair the way he has been treated over the years, by this clearly racist country. From the no-good bigots that adopted him and raised him after his biological parents abandoned him, to the middle-class California town that molded him into a professional athlete. Let’s not forget the all-expenses-paid college scholarship, where it is a safe bet he was afforded the luxury of majoring in banging cheerleaders and drinking the alumni associations’ scotch. Allow me to play a song on my microscopic violin while I wipe away the tears.
I could rail on about how I personally believe, as a nation, we have lost our collective minds to the cult of celebrity and overpaid athletes. I don’t watch sports, so I fail to understand how we have decided to worship grown men that play sports for a living. But that is not the focus of today’s rant. You are free to watch and pay for whatever you want. Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem and follow it up with this beauty of a quote, though, has made me madder than hell.
“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” said Mr. Kaepernick. “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.”
As a Veteran of this great nation, I am personally insulted. Mr. Kaepernick: You overpaid, prissy-assed, pampered, self-entitled son-of-a-bitch! You are correct that you have the freedom of speech to say what’s on your mind, and to not stand during the national anthem. But never forget that that freedom exists because better men than you died for it! That same freedom is afforded the grand wizard of the KKK, or La Raza, or anyone else that happened to win the lottery of being born in America. The difference is, those guys aren’t getting paid $11 million a year to play a children’s game, and they don’t have any sponsors we can boycott.
Since I was doing assaults into Sadr City when you were still trying to figure out the next panty raid with your frat bros, allow me to share with you some history about that flag that “oppresses black people.” I’m guessing you have no idea what the Iron Brigade is, even though it was mostly made of men from your native Wisconsin. Men who were arguably the hardest ever fielded in the Union Army, “ that flag” is the one they were fighting under when they took a staggering 73 percent casualty rate at Gettysburg. Over the course of the Civil War, 390,000 men in total would die under that flag to end slavery and preserve the Union. And you spit on their graves over the unfairness of 2016.
Perhaps you think Nazi Germany would have treated black Americans better? Well, in 1937 they forced the sterilization of every mixed race child in their borders. I think we can all imagine how this would have gone for your ancestors if they had managed to win the war. Fortunately, 186, 000 men gave their lives under “that flag” to prevent it from happening. Maybe you think the Imperial Japanese were kinder? If you do, then you are delusional. The Japanese were as bad as the Nazis, if not worse, under the Emperor. As many as 107,000 men fighting for the Stars and Stripes paid the ultimate price forcing that empire to its knees.
Nowadays, the enemy we face — the one I fought against on your behalf, so you can exercise your freedom of speech to insult millions of U.S. veterans — doesn’t actually hate you for your race, only your religion. I guess that is progress? Either way, they would still skin you alive given the chance. And they would smile while they did it. Fortunately, my brothers-in-arms and I would die before we would let that happen. More than 6,000 of us have already died to protect you, your family, your teammates and anyone else you hold dear from terrorists.
In short, to a guy that throws a football for a living, from a guy that will NEVER get to throw a football to his son. (I shredded my rotator cuff free climbing a building in Baghdad to get the drop on some terrorist sons of bitches, part of why I am retired. I can no longer throw a football, a hand grenade or a cold beer without my shoulder screaming, and my last surgeon informed me I also have a limited number of times the rest of my life I can lift my hand over my head.) I count myself very fortunate I am above ground, and all my limbs are still attached. That is a better deal than a lot of guys got. So if you don’t want to stand during the national anthem, fine. But fuck you, the horse you rode in on, your team, and your endorsement deals. I hope you end up selling shoes at Footlocker the rest of your life. You can say whatever you want. But we sure as hell don’t have to pay you for it.
About the author (in his own words): I served in two branches of service, the USMC and the Army. In Mother Corps, I was in the infantry, a Scout/ Sniper, and a Recon Marine. I spent my last year on the all-expenses-paid-cruise-ship USS Nassau, culminating with the invasion of Iraq.
In the Army, I was a Green Beret, with most of my career spent in 3rd Special Forces Group. I was an Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) Communications SGT, Intelligence SGT, and finally Team SGT. I was in a Direct Action unit, and I spent time on both the assault and sniper sides of the house. My last assignment, I taught Special Forces Advanced Urban Combat and Low Visibility Operator for three years. I retired in 2013.
In addition to blasting peoples’ faces off, I have shot a lot of paper/steel as a competitor. I have shot most of the major 3-Gun matches on the circuit, and currently hold a Master Rating in USPSA production. I don’t shoot IDPA because they don’t make a fishing vest in Barrel Chested Freedom Fighter size. When I’m not writing for GunsAmerica, I teach gunfighting through my company Off The Reservation, and occasionally run my mouth via Facebook.