On Football and the Pledge of Allegiance
By Vincent Toro
Thursday, September 22nd, 2016 | 4,171 views
My news feed is plastered with the face of Colin Kaepernick, a player for the 49’ers who quietly decided to sit during the national anthem. Outrage about his refusal to stand is broadcast across platforms: on television, in periodicals, in the comments sections of social media posts.
When wading through the vast swamp of news items and opinions delivered to my screen, it is usually my instinct to avoid any football related content. But my eye glimpsed a post from a friend of mine who shared Kaepernick’s statement about the incident:
I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses
black people and people of color… 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.
And in the few seconds it took to read those words, Colin Kapernick won my attention.
Since 1977, North Bergen High School’s football team has won six state championships in New Jersey. The number would have been seven, but after winning the 2011 championship they had their title stripped when it was discovered that they had been using unethical recruiting methods (the team’s two star players were tenants of coach Vincent Ascolese, who coerced them to transfer to NBHS to play for him).