Terrence says the Bears protest misses mark on Kaepernick's original message.
Bears players lock arms during National Anthem Sunday vs Pittsburgh Steelers (John L. Alexander/The Bigs Visuals)
CHICAGO-- Watching the Bears lock arms Sunday in response to Donald Trump’s offensive comments calling NFL players who have chosen to protest police brutality and injustice toward people of color in this country by kneeling during the national anthem, “sons of bitches”, made me think of a new word -- patriotic-ish.
Like most of the NFL, Bears players stayed silent and took a business as usual approach last September when Kaepernick first decided to take a knee. “We’re just focused on football and trying to win a game,” said Sherrick McManis after a week 12 loss to the Tennessee Titans in which the Bears fell to 2-9.
Willie Young let it be known that he had more important things to worry about. "I've got too much going on right here at Halas Hall to worry about what he's got going on."
Linebacker Danny Trevathan chimed in by saying, “I know what my job is here, I know what my responsibilities are and I know how I feel about certain things. I'm here right now to win games and that's really my focus.”
Not only did they leave Kaepernick hanging via their comments off the field but on the field, it was no surprise that not a single Bears player decided to kneel or raise a fist in solidarity with one of their own, a fellow player in the National Football League.
Fast forward a year later, Colin Kaepernick has yet to find a job in the NFL and Bears players have suddenly become “woke” and decided to take a late pass and join the fight. Only now, whether continuously or unconsciously, they are helping to push the original meaning of Kaepernick’s protest into the abyss by locking arms under the guise of “unity” and respecting the flag.
“Unity, regardless of what’s going on, we have respect for our soldiers and every military thing. But we also have respect for ourselves and our teammates. Regardless of what’s being said against us, as professional athletes, we’re sticking together,” said Sherrick McManis after Sunday’s 23-17 win versus the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But “sticking together” wasn’t on the list of things to do when Kaepernick put his neck on the line for innocent black men being killed in our country, no, winning a football game was more important. And I guess being called an “SOB” by the President is something we just can’t stand for.
Danny Trevathan responded to the flurry of Trump tweets in which he expressed that “Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable.” by saying “He don’t make me flinch. He don’t make me jump.” But the truth is, Trump made the entire NFL flinch and jump in a way that Colin Kaepernick never could.
Head Coach John Fox, who was part of the Bears’ chain of arms Sunday, said “Basically we felt as a team, George (McCaskey) included that this issue is divisive and disrespectful. I think what we’re all about is being united together. No disrespect for the anthem.”
United together….against Donald Trump’s calling NFL players “sons of bitches."
So Kaepernick's words still ring true regarding his fellow NFL’ers joining his movement, “There’s a lot of consequences that come along with this. There’s a lot of people that don’t want to have this conversation. They’re scared they might lose their job. Or they might not get the endorsements. They might not be treated the same way. Those are things I’m prepared to handle.”
It’s important to remember this the next time the Bears decide to go all patriotic-ish on us.
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