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What if Tom Brady took a knee during the National Anthem?

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I still don’t believe that many understand exactly what Colin Kaepernick is doing with his protest. To some, it’s a symbol, and to others, it’s a sign of disrespect. Some feel as if he is disrespecting the flag that many have died for, like our troops, both past, and present. But that’s not the case. This is a protest about what is gong on in America now. This has nothing to do with the Armed Forces.

Kaepernick is an African-American male and much like the rest of us we are tired. Just tired of the abuse and the constant put downs that we have endured lately. So, he took a stand. Was it the right thing to do? Yes. He didn’t get in front of a camera and blast lawmakers like some did, he decided not to stand for the National Anthem. But this is the funny part of the story. What if some other famous athletes decided to kneel with him like Tom Brady, how would America feel then?

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How would Patriots Nation feel about their star QB taking a knee? Will they bash him or will they begin to look further into the issues Kaepernick and others are protesting about? This is not a violent protest, no one is getting hurt or arrested. This is a man who has taken a stand, much like the one Muhammad Ali made back when he refused to go to war for America. He has a voice and he has a choice. What’s the difference when voting for President? How do you choose between candidates where one opposes gun laws and abortion and one who doesn’t. How is that not disrespecting the flag? This is still going on in our country.

Not sure if you noticed but politics have divided this country for years. One-half is Democrat and the other Republican. But you wish to chastise a man for kneeling. I do not stand every time I hear the National Anthem, and I know you don’t either so whats the big deal? It’s because you simply do not understand what’s going on. Will it take Tom Brady to make you understand or Donald Trump for the ones that support him? Would you think any less of Brady if he were to do that? Would you go to your local T-shirt print shop and get anti-Brady shirts printed up? Would you stop attending NFL games if he took a stance?

America is so blind to what’s ging on that all some can see is skin color, so maybe it’s not the message that’s being sent it, maybe it’s the person that’s sending the message. I get it, Kaepernick is not who he was three seasons ago and that may be part of the problem. In the sports world, you’re nobody until you become somebody and now Kaepernick is a person that used to be somebody in many eyes. But Brady is a somebody. When a message needs to be heard it’s never the person in back of the line picked to give the speech, it’s the one in front that must have his voice heard. But the problem with that is the ones in the front like to stay in the front and standing up for what’s right and their image doesn’t go hand in hand.

But the National Anthem in itself has America so blind that I can understand why all the hate for Kaepernick. I’m not sure what school you attended and if they taught history there but the National Anthem as we call it now was penned in 1814 during The Battle of Baltimore but it was also right smack in the middle of slavery. So when the National Anthem is sung forgive Kaepernick for feeling some type of way with lyrics like:

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the Heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave

Sorry, you may not recognize those lyrics, those are part of the National Anthem that never gets sung. The hidden verses. It took me 40 years to realize this and maybe Kaepernick just found it out himself and realized the song does not represent his ancestors. In 1814, where were the African-American freemen standing like the first line in the above verse states? Or how about this line: No refuge could save the hireling and slave. But, yet you have a problem with Kaepernick making a stance. What if Brady or Sidney Crosby saw that and decided they didn’t like the words either and wanted to stand with Kaepernick?

You want a person with a voice to make a statement, be careful of what you ask for. It could very well be your pastor, your significant other or your favorite entertainer or player. But if that happens what will you do? Will you accept it, brush it off or totally remove yourself from the situation?

Brady plays on a team with African-American players so he has a feeling of what’s going in society today. Does it affect him, maybe, but we won’t know until he makes a stand himself.


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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at