‘The show of patriotism I think is a bit inappropriate and that is not something that I think we want to emulate…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) When former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick prominently claimed in a Nike ad last year that he was “sacrificing everything” to protest the national anthem, some may have had good reason to be skeptical.
But as Kaepernick’s third season of unemployment approaches, his spin machine is working overtime to cast him as a victim of oppression, echoing a common leftist trope.
The latest figure in professional sports to rally behind him was USA Basketball coach Gregg Popovich, who not only repeated the falsehood about the erstwhile signal-caller’s so-called sacrifice but ratcheted up the rhetoric by claiming Kaepernick was the true patriot.
“That was a very patriotic thing he did,” Popovich said in an interview with ESPN published Thursday. “He cared about his country enough to fix some things that were obvious, that everybody knows about but does nothing about.”
Kaepernick, who was benched for performance reasons in the 2016 season by the San Francisco 49ers, opted not to renew his contract with the team expecting a better deal as a free agent.
When that failed, he and fellow anthem-kneeler Eric Reid, now a starting safety for the Carolina Panthers, sued the NFL claiming they were being discriminated against and settled for an undisclosed amount.
On top of it all, Kaepernick cashed in on his iconoclastic status with an extremely lucrative Nike marketing contract while raking in awards from virtue-signaling leftist outlets, all without ever having to lift a finger—or even stand upright.
His latest flurry of controversy came after he posted an Instagram workout video saying he was still ready to play.
After being pressed by media, President Donald Trump weighed in, saying Kaepernick should play if he was “good enough” but not as a public-relations gimmick.
Now, others, like Popovich, are using Kaepernick’s stunt to spout their own unsolicited opinions on the matter, claiming the flag-bashing race-baiter is the truest patriot of them all.
“Patriotism means a lot of things to different people,” Popovich told ESPN. “There’s people who are truly committed in that sense and people who are fake.”
He went on to suggest that he objected to seeing overt displays of pride in America when there was so much about it to criticize.
“The show of patriotism I think is a bit inappropriate, and that is not something that, I think, we want to emulate,” Popovich said.
“Because someone hugs a flag doesn’t mean they’re patriotic,” he continued. “Being a patriot is somebody that respects their country and understands that the best thing about our country is that we have the ability to fix things that have not come to fruition for a lot of people so far.”
Other NFL players, including top running-back Saquon Barkley and Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills have been vocal in their support of Kaepernick as well, insisting that team owners conspired—albeit ineffectively—to silence him.
Meanwhile, Reid said he plans to continue the controversial anthem-kneeling protest in the upcoming football season and indefinitely until he deems that the racial divisions in America have been healed to his satisfaction.
In spite—or perhaps because—of his act of disrespect, Reid told Sports Illustrated recently that racial progress in the country currently seems to be receding.
“It feels like we’re going backwards,” Reid said. “You’d like to think we’re past certain things, the way we treat people. I thought we were at a time where you love your neighbor as yourself. But as I’ve studied history—it hasn’t repeated itself necessarily, but it’s dressed a little different and is acting the same.”