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No longer a San Francisco 49er fan
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Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
I was once a San Francisco 49er fan. Not anymore. Not since they fired the only coach that had the team playing competitively for the first time in years because management didn’t like him. I thought they should have kept the coach and fired management. Jim Harbaugh wasn’t perfect — far from it. For one thing he got rid of Alex Smith and installed Colin Kaepernick as his starting quarterback. I thought at the time that was a bad move and it has proven to be eminently so over the past few years. And now, this mediocre player, has decided he must take a stand (or should I say a knee) against the country and people that have provided him the freedom to do and say as he pleases.
  The reason I finally decided to air my opinions publicly is an article I read on the Internet. It is the one in which Kaepernick’s parents finally voiced their support for their son. I thought it was odd that it has taken them so long to do this and then I realized that, as I parent, I would probably have done the same thing. It’s kind of a biblical “hate the sin, love the sinner” sort of thing. I can imagine that privately they were ashamed and embarrassed by their son’s actions but there was no way they were going to publicly criticize him and throw him under the bus. I’m sure I would do the same. It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in their home.
I do sort of understand Kaepernick’s stance. I’m not a black man so I can’t fully grasp what their community is going through but it doesn’t take a genius to see that a lot of the things he’s protesting are valid critiques of what is happening in our country. Some of the shootings are wrong. Some of them are criminal. Some of them appear to be murder. But to use the platform he has, one that pays him an average of $19 million a year, to publicly criticize an entire protective element that doesn’t limit itself to our police departments but, by association, includes our armed services is just wrong.
If he truly wants to be a leader in this movement then he should also take a knee against any organization that belittles and threatens anyone. He could start with the National Football League. I don’t have statistics to back this up but it’s my guess that a higher percentage of professional athletes are bullies, criminals and domestic abusers than the percentage of cops that do the same. The fact is, and this is the point Kaepernick does not understand, when you get a large enough group of people together, whether it be police, military, professional athletes or Little League coaches, you will find a spectrum of types and some of those types are going to be bad. So Colin, do the right thing. If you truly want to make a stand go ahead, take a knee — but take a knee against the National Football League and sit. Sit out the season. Until that time I, for one, will not take you seriously. And I bet your parents will feel a whole lot better.

D. Brush