There is almost nothing to say about the fact that Nike recalled a patriotic American flag shoe after Colin Kaepernick complained. It is so self-evidently absurd and disgraceful — such a cowardly surrender to political correctness — that analysis is rendered moot.
Kaepernick reportedly felt that the flag — a Betsy Ross flag from the American Revolution — somehow represents slavery. Of course, if the American flag represents slavery, then every flag of every country 200 years old or over also represents slavery. Slavery was a universally accepted institution all across the world for thousands of years. The only thing unique about American slavery is that we practiced it for such a comparatively short amount of time. Egypt had slavery for 3,000 years. We had it for 90. These are facts that have apparently escaped Kaepernick’s notice.
The one notable, though far from surprising, aspect of this story is how it finally exposes the truth behind Kaepernick’s kneeling stunt. We were told for years that the kneelers were not protesting the flag — or the country or the national anthem, for that matter. A viral tweet with over 300,000 likes summed up this defense: “Rosa Parks was not protesting the bus. Gandhi was not protesting the food. The colonists were not protesting tea. Players are not protesting the flag or the anthem. They are protesting injustice.”
Many in the media, including Shep Smith at Fox News, also made this claim. The NFL players themselves repeatedly declared that they were not protesting the flag, despite appearing to do exactly that. LeBron James, one of the highest-profile defenders of the anthem protests, tried to put a patriotic spin on it: “We know this is the greatest country in the world — it’s the land of the free. But we still have problems just like everybody else. And when we have those problems, we have to figure out a way how we come together and be as great as we can be as a people.”
Kaepernick, who started it all, said that he was trying to call attention to “police violence” and “systematic oppression.” He and his fellow kneelers always insisted that this was not about the flag itself. Well, in case anyone was ever fooled by all of the misdirection, the truth should now be clear: It was indeed about the flag. It was always about the flag.
Colin Kaepernick does not like this country. That much is clear, by now. He is rich and famous and free — all things that he would not be if he lived in any number of other countries around the globe — but his privilege has made him bitter to his core. And he is free to be bitter. He is free to hate the United States and its flag and all it stands for. But he should be honest about where he really stands (or kneels) on the issue.