I, Dominic Carter,  wouldn’t have handled the situation that way.

However I respect his right to do what he did, and I can understand why some find the actions of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick commendable. How many of us would put millions on the line to take a stand?

To me, the national anthem is something that every American, and I mean every American, should always honor. We live in a great country with each citizen having enormous liberties, rights, freedoms, and benefits. Is our country perfect? No, but If you don’t believe how great America is, go to just about any other country, and then compare it to America. I found this out in places like Somalia, Israel, Japan, Jamaica, and the Persian Gulf.

American Soldiers have died.  Not just past tense, but presently, for the rights that we enjoy.  So I would not sit down during the national anthem, especially as a professional athlete being paid millions for something that is a privilege.

I do understand the frustration of Mr. Kaepernick.

It is refreshing that for once an athlete is not ducking political controversy on the advice of advisers so that the athlete remains as neutral/marketable as possible to push “Gatorade” or “Wheaties” commercials. After all, many of us really feel that Athletes are meant to be seen, and not heard! Just shut up, play their sport, and make millions.

Before you judge Kaepernick, at least look at what he has had to say.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media after Friday’s game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

“This is not something that I am going to run by anybody,” he said. “I am not looking for approval. I have to stand up for people that are oppressed. … If they take football away, my endorsements from me, I know that I stood up for what is right.”

Kaepernick is not new to civil rights issues. This is what ESPN reported about his background:

“Kaepernick, who is biracial, was adopted and raised by white parents. He has been outspoken on his Twitter account on civil rights issues and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Numerous high-profile athletes have basically taken a page out of the Kaepernick playbook, speaking out in the wake of gun violence throughout the United States. In July, Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul opened the ESPYS with a call for social change and an end to violence. WNBA players wore warm-up shirts to show solidarity after police shootings in Minnesota and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

In Music, Beyonce has also been turning up the heat on social awareness. She has come under fire from former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani.