September 6, 2016

TAKING A KNEE:

How Kaepernick came to kneel (Peter King, 9/05/16, MMQB)

When former Army Green Beret Nate Boyer met with Colin Kaepernick in San Diego last Thursday around noon, a few hours before the Niner quarterback's important preseason test against the Chargers (he passed and will start the season as the backup to Blaine Gabbert), Boyer showed Kaepernick a text message from a fellow Ranger who was still serving overseas. Boyer shared the text with me but not the name of the soldier in the special forces--and he shared it with Kaepernick last Thursday too. It read:

Hey buddy. At first I was with you on this Kaepernick issue. However, I just stood in formation while one of our brothers was pulled off a plane with our nation's flag draped over his coffin. I had to fight back tears as I saw the pain in the eyes of Staff Sgt. Thompson's wife and family. While I would like to sit here and tell you I rose above it all, I have to be honest, my heart filled with rage--rage for anyone who takes for granted the ideals and symbol of what we fight and die for.

After reading the text, sitting in the lobby of the San Diego Westin Hotel with Boyer, Kaepernick was moved. According to Boyer, Kaepernick said: "How can I express my feelings better, without hurting guys like this so much?"

"Maybe," Boyer told him, "there's a way for you to show respect for those fighting and dying for this country." Sitting, to some people, is an extreme act of disloyalty to the country.

Boyer suggested he stand and simply bow his head. That wasn't for Kaepernick, presumably because he'd said he wasn't going to stand for the anthem. Kaepernick decided to take a knee instead, because often people take a knee to show reverence. "I told him if he took a knee I would stand next to him," said Boyer. "So that's how I ended up on the field next to him."

But Boyer also told Kaepernick anything he did before the anthem would be an empty gesture unless it was accompanied by taking action himself. Kaepernick announced he would donate the first $1 million of his salary to a community organization with goals consistent to his.

Posted by at September 6, 2016 7:14 PM

  

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