Patriotism, Protests, and Punches


Two years after Kaepernick initially kneeled, they still think he is being anti-military and anti-American by taking a knee during the National Anthem. Where was the outrage when Ray Rice punched and kicked his fiancee in an elevator, or when Tyreek Hill punched and choked his pregnant girlfriend?

While scrolling through Instagram stories of people I follow, someone shared this Facebook post that resonated with me:

The actual disgrace is the outrage over what others perceive as anti-patriotism, when what Kaepernick is actually protesting peacefully are the issues people of color face. There is outrage when peaceful protest is taking place but no outrage when athletes are abusing women.

I related to this because as an abuse victim, I had numerous reasons why I stayed and a type of security was one of them. As was the case with the women in this Huffington Post piece, many survivors stayed in their abusive relationships for various reasons.

No one was prioritizing the needs of survivors when all of these police reports and accusations were coming out. No one was burning brands of cleats these abusers were wearing on their feet.

I put it to my Instagram followers this way when I initially shared Sutherland’s post: It shouldn’t have to be this way since everyone should care about women being beaten, anyway… For those of you who support abusers in the spotlight, what if these women who were punched, strangled, slapped were your daughter, mother, sister? Would you have burned your precious official NFL gear? Would you have stopped buying tickets to their games?

And for those of you who support abusers in the spotlight and call yourselves my friends, what if that would have been me?

Bottom line: This feigned patriotism and anger over the flag and calling Kaepernick disrespectful is disgusting to someone like me who lived what the players partners lived. They didn’t feel the punches that myself and the partners and these players did. They weren’t smothered and choked almost to death like us. This is why I am disheartened that people care more about patriotism than battered women.