Outside The Yard: When Professional Athletes Like Sandy Koufax, Shawn Green and…Colin Kaepernick Take a Stand (Or Seat)

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Much has been made these last few days over the last few days over San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem,” eliciting many a mixed response to the point we’ve asked What does The Star Spangled Banner really represent? “. Debate over whether The national anthem being played is necessary at not only sporting events but other prestigious venues has also been debated. If you even brought up the topic at some point chances are either your “Patriotism” among other beliefs was probably questioned.

Which brings the question: What makes for a true American ? Does taking a stand, or in Colin’s case, a seat, make him any less American? Is he the first one that has spoken over his disdain toward how things are in this proud country we live in? Of course not. Was he disrespecting those who fought for our rights and freedoms? Again, that is up for debate, which is what we, as a nation, have been doing.  

When the Star Spangled Banner is played, how many of you when at the games have actually put your hand over your heart? I see fans who won’t even take their hats off. Fans of all ethnicity. Would you dare walk up to a white fan and demand he take off his hat? Probably not. 

Prior to Kaepernick’s refusal to stand, how many of you, and even until now, even knew or know who wrote The Star Spangled Banner? How many of you even know the words past the first verse? Not many of you huh. Does that make you an untrue American? Of course not. If I was to ask a casual Dodgers fan what year Jackie Robinson broke into the bigs and didn’t give a response would that make him or her any less of a fan? No.

Of course Colin has dealt with a heavy dose of backlash. Of course we’ve heard the standard “If you don’t like it here, leave” quote. Well, I’m sure there will be lot’s of you out there who will complain about our country’s status come November regardless who are leader is. How many of you will be bolting north to the praises of Oh Canada. Yup. Didn’t think so.

 Colin has also received plenty of support from those who truly do put it all on the line. Of course, we thank them for doing everything within their power to protect all our rights…

 

Did Colin burn a cross while draped in a white-hooded robe ? Did Colin protest the funeral of a fallen military hero? Yet these same people who I refuse to acknowledge by name get the same rights of Freedom of Speech that Colin is being vilified for. How many of you have ever gone out and counter-protested?

Colin is far from the first athlete to use his prestigious stature to express his views. Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time, didn’t he refuse to join the military even if it meant being stripped of his World Heavyweight title and possible jail time? Even Jackie Robinson once said “I cannot stand and sing the anthem. I cannot salute the flag”

Taking a stand on one’s belief as we know, is not just limited to politics either. 

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Shawn Green missed a couple of huge games during the heat of the pennant race in 2001 and 2004 to observe the Day of Atonement. 

 (Sandy Koufax, MLB)

 Of course most Dodgers and longtime baseball fans are aware of Sandy Koufax’s refusal to pitch in Game One of the 1965 World Series so that he may observe Yom Kippur. Yes, the Jewish Day of Atonement. 

Yes, it is true that we have a tendency to hold professional athletes to a higher standard. It’s also true that we as rabid sports fans, including this one, tend to place our favorite players on a higher pedestal because of feats accomplished on the field. There will be division among this but hey, it should be OK for an athlete to exercise their right and use a highly scrutinized platform to express their beliefs. All Colin did was refuse to stand for a song that we are all now debating whether it really represents patriotism and whether it should be played before sporting events. Sandy and Shawn took a game off to practice their beliefs. It was their right. The fact that the Dodgers allowed them to go forward and put their beliefs before a huge game says a lot about our Dodger organization as well.

 If there is one thing Colin accomplished, it got ALL OF US talking. Like it, or not…

9th Inning… 

Uh, make that…Top of the 9th…After trailing earlier 8-2…Dodgers down 2…2 outs…Bases loaded…1 out away from a 3 game sweep at the hands of the Colorado Rockies…And then this…From Rookie Andrew Toles…The Rookie who started the year in Single A Rancho Cucamonga…

RANCHO_AFTER SHOCK Hey ! Even AfterShock had to love that !!!

The fun is just beginning…Welcome to September…

Editors Note: I originally finished my post after the 8th inning when The Blue was still trailing…OOPS !!!! ( A good OOPS !!!) Note to Drei…Never publish any in-game thoughts until that 27th out…YOU KNOW BETTER !!!!

Extra Innings…1965 World Series, Game 7

If Sandy had any harsh critics for missing Game 1 over observing The Day of Atonement, he sure silenced them after Game 7…( A “Young” Vin Scully with the action…)

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