The whole Colin Kaepernick thing has officially entered the stage where it is spawning new, spin-off controversies. The latest story to spark outrage on the internet surrounds the decision by a Virginia Beach bar owner to tape a Colin Kaepernick jersey to the floor just inside the doors to the establishment.
The story went viral after local resident James Perry posted this picture to Facebook – which has now been shared over 5,500 times – which shows the jersey taped down to the floor of the Krossroads Rock and Country Bar.
First of all, the name of this bar is the least surprising part of the whole story. If you were doubting whether or not this establishment were as redneck as it may seem from the headline, you now definitely have your answer.
The restaurant has of course denied that the action had anything to do with racism. According to WTKR who spoke to the general manager of the establishment, it’s – you guessed it – in defense of the flag!
“He told us taping the jersey down was about sportsmanship and Kaepernick’s disrespect of the flag – not race.”
Now I’ve stated this before but I’ll say it again for all of the idiots who are going to tell me that “the restaurant owner is entitled to free speech too and that it’s hypocritical to criticize the action.” I know that it’s his right. And I believe in that right. But that doesn’t mean that I have to condone it.
In order for something to be considered thoughtful protest, there has to be an actual reason and explanation for engaging in the action. This is nothing more than an attention grab; although there’s no arguing that it succeeded in that goal.
The owner of the bar clearly fails to see the irony in encouraging people to treat a man and his values like the dirt under their feet (literally) in the name of fighting disrespect. Kaepernick’s perceived disrespect toward an inanimate object that is intended to represent everyone’s interpretations of freedom and justice does not warrant this kind of reaction from people. Because when people react in this way, they admit that they’ve taken personal offense to something that has absolutely nothing to do with them unless they are racist. And if they are racist then they are only proving Kaepernick’s point.
See what I’m getting at here?
This bar owner is playing dumb if he says that he doesn’t understand how this would be interpreted as a racist act. It’s akin to spitting on someone’s likeness. If you’re going to do something like this, you might as well take full responsibility for the optics of it.
So if that’s the way that you feel you need to express your disagreement with the man’s stance, then by all means tape his jersey to the floor knowing full well what that insinuates; particularly in response to pleas for racial justice in the United States. But don’t expect people not to call you out for what you are…