Why I Stand ??

In Baseball, Blog, Football, Sports by Eric Byrnes17 Comments

My first reaction to Colin Kapernick sitting down during the national anthem was an extreme feeling of disappointment. I had the opportunity to interview Kap when I was working in radio and I truly believe he is a good kid and he has a big heart.

I also agree with a lot of Kap’s message.  I believe that there is a disturbing amount of social injustice within our country and even more so around the world.  There is no doubt that ACTION needs to be taken.

The problem is that sitting down during the National Anthem is a divisive action and I truly believe the only way to fix social inequality is through UNITY NOT DIVISION.

Kap has a unique opportunity to use his voice and his actions to bring people together.  If he wants to make a real difference he needs to take a big time leadership role in different community outreach programs.  He should use every free moment he has to speak and moderate town hall meetings across the country, bringing inner city youth and police officers together.   This problem needs to be fixed at the root.  Spread a message of togetherness and love, not division and hate.

The National Anthem was and still is a time I am able to stand up, place my right hand over my heart, bow my head and show gratitude for the sacrifices others have made for me to be able to play or watch a GAME that I love.

I am sure the National Anthem and the American Flag are symbols that mean something different for each individual but there is no doubt that both represent the democratic society that we created 240 years ago.  Over the years our country has continued to develop and grow, most of the time in a positive direction and other times we have experienced serious setbacks. Regardless, the anthem continues to play, the flag continues to fly and just about all continue to stand.

Yet, the greatest thing about our country is that Colin Kapernick does not have to stand for the National Anthem or salute the American flag.  He has the freedom of speech and the right to express his message without getting thrown in prison or executed.

Ultimately, he made the decision to sit through the national anthem and articulately expressed his reasons for doing so.

Me, I am going to stand.

I stand for democracy.

I stand for those who have fought and continue to fight for our country’s freedom.

I stand for all branches of Military.

I stand for those killed in action protecting your ass and mine.

I stand for their families.

I stand for the values and principles our nation was founded on.

I stand for our founding fathers.

I stand for our forefathers.

I stand for our government structure.

I stand for George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Rossevelt, FDR, JFK and Ronald Reagan.

I stand for all US Presidents and the sanctity of the Presidential office.

I stand for Alexander Hamilton.

I stand for Geronimo, Sacagawea and Sitting Bull.

I stand for Lewis and Clark.

I stand for John Muir.

I stand for Martin Luther King, Fredrick Douglas and Rosa Parks.

I stand for Jim Thorpe and Muhammid Ali.

I stand for Jackie Robinson.

I stand for Pat Tillman.

I stand to express my gratitude for working people who continue to make our country safe and operational.

I stand for public servants and government officials.

I stand for teachers.

I stand for fire fighters.


I stand up because Colin Kapernick has the right to sit down…


  1. This.

    WHAT you expressed and HOW you expressed yourself in this Op also showed in the way you handled SportsPhone68 a few years back. It showed, it tickled the intellect, and the more I listened to you on the radio (and then TV), the more intrigued I became.

    You picked up another baseball fan, but it was after you left the game.

  2. Very well said, and a great perspective on the issue. I tend to agree that there seems to be more division in his actions which is unfortunate. I also see that it has created a dialogue for the issue, and the fact that he was able and willing to articuately explain his actions and the reason behind them has helped with that division. He mentioned he has bigger more actionable things in the works. I beleive seeing those things to fruition will be imortant to determine his true conviction to the words he said. Because as of now i feel most of the conversation is on his actions not his reasons which is unfortunate.

  3. Well done EB. PT would be proud! America may not be perfect but is still the most successful experiment ever in democracy. ACTION will always trump words & symbols.

  4. Amen brother. As a disabled person it causes me physical pain every time I stand up. Yet I continue to stand every time I hear the anthem played.

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