Why Did I Drag This All The Way From California?
I am not the biggest sports fan. I enjoy them. To be clear, I am a fan, not a fanatic (I’m looking at you 12th Man”). I love the strategies. Since I grew up in the Bay Area of California, I had plenty of sport choices. SF Giants, SF 49ers, Golden State Warriors and The San Jose Sharks.
I have been a fan of all these teams since I was a kid. I was a fan of the 49ers since they were 1-13. There were many losing, lonely seasons. I endured. There were Super Bowl moments that were treasured and celebrated. I purchased all kinds of 49er jerseys over the years, including Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Steve Young just to name a few. More recently, I purchased a Colin Kaepernick jersey. I initially wore it proudly.
Until Kaepernick kneeled.
Now, what am supposed to do with that?
I am loyal. Sometimes to a fault. However, I have a deeper loyalty. My country and my flag.
Don't get me wrong, I am not blindly waiving our flag. I am not naively following a pro-America ethos.
What I am proud of is this country has allowed me, a poor kid who grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, a fair shot. Our country is not perfect. But no country affords opportunity like America. There is nothing like it. It’s an idea that has proven itself.
You may have disagreements here and I welcome the conversation.
So when someone kneels in an attempt to disrespect the very flag under which the game is played on, I get a little protective.
Kaepernick did what he thought was right. He kneeled at work to make a statement. Most of us can’t do that because we would lose our jobs. He took his stand and he is making the best of it. I wish him the best. I mean that.
But I too am doing what I feel is right. That's why I cannot bring myself to wear his number 7 jersey that sports his name.
I understand that Kaep was trying to make a statement. I respect that. But now I have this $150 jersey that I cannot bring myself to wear. There it is, hanging in my closet. I feel like it is mocking me at times.
I have seen people burn their Kaep jerseys in protest. I am not that guy. I am more pragmatic than that.
I know I am asking 12th Man Nation this question, (and I am ready for all the jokes). But really, what do I do with this jersey? Not a lot has changed since Kaep took a knee a few years ago. I loathe waste, so throwing it away is not an option. But at the same time, I drug this thing all the way from Cali to Yakima for a reason.
so, what should I do with it? Sell it? Give it to a deserving 49er fan (that would be a tall order in the land of Seahawk)?
I welcome your thoughts.
All My Best,