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Commentary by Betty Arenson
| Friday, Sep 29, 2017

The latest theme: “Take a knee.” The NFL may highly regret ever hearing that term.

Colin Kaepernick stood out in college football enough to get to the pros and was hot for a bit, but it was a level of playing he could not sustain. Although the San Francisco ‘49ers had inked a “record” 7-year contract in 2014 for $126 million, there were enough contractual backstops that led the way to Kaepernick never realizing the full dollars.

His yearly salary of $645,000 alone (as a new hire) makes the average Joe and Jane shake their heads. Then there was the $12.5 million signing bonus.

Between the contract provisions and a declining performance after three seasons, most likely Kaepernick knew the writing was on the wall. Undoubtedly and inherently the contract is wordy and of course sated with numbers but in the end Kaepernick received $39.4 million.

That’s mammoth pay for failure.

Kaepernick opted out of the contract to be a free agent and no one picked him up. Perhaps arguably, this scenario has the strong appearance of an angry young man.

Accompanying Kaepernick’s far less than stellar performance on the field was his decision to kneel rather than stand for the national anthem and thus, the American flag, on Sept. 1, 2016. Reportedly (NFL.com) he said, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

Where did that come from?

Kaepernick was born to a single white young woman from Wisconsin. His (unidentified) African-American father allegedly fled upon hearing of the pregnancy. A white couple, Rick and Teresa Kaepernick adopted Colin who already had two children and had also lost two sons due to heart defects.

Kaepernick has never spoken of personally experiencing any negative interactions with the police. Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities – a country that holds the symbol of a beautiful flag and a national anthem that deserve respect and honor.

Somehow the kneel-deal of one year ago bled into this year. It’s swollen even more to race; reeled in politics and of course, all things Trump.

Critics will remind everyone that Trump was speaking at an Alabama primary race event a few days ago and said: “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son-of-a-b—h off the field right now, out, he’s fired.”

The critics would be correct about that.

What is not correct is that those words are surpassing being torturously twisted into misleading enchantments and into blatant lies.

Multiple reports are saying Trump called for all disrespectful NFL players be fired and on the 11 o’clock CBSLA news Sept. 26, the female reporter made the comment that Trump “demanded” NFL players be fired.

Irrespective of the indelicate words by Trump, the majority agrees with the idea that this is America and we believe it’s the best country on the planet and to disrespect the national symbol and our song is reprehensible.

There’s the fallback position that Kaepernick has his First Amendment rights. Yes; and so does Trump, and so does every reader here. However, just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should. The NFL must have rules of conduct; most employers do.

The players and coaches standing with arms locked are merely on the fence; they claim to show unity.

I think the majority of Americans prefer they show unity for America, her song and her flag.

Considering the double-digit loss of viewership so far, the NFL may well be taking “a knee” in a way they never considered.


Betty Arenson is a Valencia resident who believes in the Constitution in its entirety and that laws should be upheld and apply to everyone equally.

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  1. Sean says:

    Please just shut up about this already!

  2. Gary Horton says:

    You wrote: “Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities – a country that holds the symbol of a beautiful flag and a national anthem that deserve respect and honor.”

    Does it matter if the foster parents were white or black? Does it matter that he is half-black. He protested at a time when it is a hot topic, the unjust treatment of minorities by militarized police in America.

    To say that “He (as a black man) should be THANKFUL for what the (white man) has PAID or rather, GIVEN HIM (because he isn’t that good, after all in your estimation) is of course, real racism.

    You are racially bigoted. White to the marrow. And as a bigot, you can’t even see your bias and bigotry. And that’s the CORE problem in America – so many people cannot even empathize with others unlike them.

    We see it again in our treatment of Puerto Rico. (They’re the “OTHER” so – do we care AS MUCH as for Texas?”

    This is the way it works, and this is the way you write.

    – Gary

  3. mellie says:

    Gary, stop. We are sick of those like you looking for and “finding” things to whine about. Betty is correct.

    • DennyNNWofLA says:

      “Those like you” Wow, Mellie.
      Just who are “those?”
      btw- Betty is a bigot.
      You must be also.

  4. DennyNNWofLA says:

    To follow up on what Gary said, Betty, you suffer from what is commonly known as “White Privilege.” You can never, nor can I, know what life in America is like being non-white.
    Former President Barack Obama also had a white mother. So WHAT?! He also has massive amounts of class; something the current occupant has none of. NONE.
    You also skip right past the point of what the “Take a Knee” demonstrations are about. You were, no doubt, around for the Civil Rights movement of the 60s so you should have learned that. But you did not.
    In the “14 points of fascism,” number two is about “Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights.” Think about that and what that means.
    I am not attempting the impossible task of trying to enlightening you, but to caution others, like you, to think this thru and not be blinded by your own whiteness or racism. Come to think of it, they are on either side of the same saltine.
    Charles M. Blow has an important article in yesterday’s NYT called, “The Flag Is Drenched In Our Blood.” Anybody reading this post should also read his.

  5. SCgal says:

    Why don’t you address the fact that Trump could denounce football players who exercise their constitutional right to express themselves in a peaceful nonviolent protest, but would NOT, nor could NOT denounce Neo-Nazis, KKK and white supremacists in Charlottesville. These thugs marched with the intent to incite violence and murdered an American citizen on American soil and he called them “fine people.”
    He did NOTHING to diffuse the already racially charged and divisive environment in Charlottesville, and now has intentionally inserted himself needlessly into this NFL player protest movement to pander to his disgusting and ignorant racist base.

    Trump and the GOP are nothing but hypocrites. Trump calls out these football players and says they should be fired for protesting on the job. Yet, when Kim Davis, the Kentucky civil clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to gays, in violation of the law, well you guessed it, the GOP and Trump embraced her for her courage and called her an American hero. Hypocrites, liars and sycophants the lot of them.

    I love my country and hate what this inept, unqualified and morally and ethically bankrupt narcissistic bigot is doing while occupying the White Hosue. Care to respond Betty?

  6. You’ve got to be kidding. If the owners of the team allow that type of protest, it’be between them and their fans. Trump being outraged, after he was a draft dodger and no member of his family including his father ever served in the military, only triggered his Confederate base. Blame, blame, no free speech. I don’t like it, I wish there was respect, but it’s between the owners, League, and the local fans. The right to object is written in the Constitution. Of Course, our president doesn’t even know what’s in it, it seems from his remarks.

    • Mike says:

      So cute that protestors define racism as only understood by victims of…ok greatttt…so the rest of us can drop the subject till you get educated…by someone else than the radicalized jokers who devised your mind control through your own anger.,,and outrage… kinda sad so many people cant think for themselves…regardless of your country of origin, ethnic or race etc etc.

      • Mike says:

        Also, look into radical islam plan targeting nfl, nba, players with “girlfriends”, re kap went far south with play while being indoc’d…
        Ps nfl sucking due to violence…brain trauma only tip of iceberg…

  7. Travis Levy says:

    Taking a knee during the National Anthem is wrong no matter what why you see it. You might as well spit in everyone’s face that served for this country. There’s a time and a place for protest and this isn’t the time. Would any of you protest while your at work like this? Really be honest. Are you willing to put your job or career and livelihood on the line? I think not. If he really truly wants to show support then why doesn’t he conduct protest off the field? Why don’t we see him at city hall giving speeches or even in the streets about Police brutality. Those tactics are still supportive to your cause while not disrespecting our flag and the men and women who fight, have fought and died for this country.

  8. Greg says:

    Oh Betty, it’s a shame that you don’t have any friends of color to ask their feelings on the matter. It must take a lot of effort to keep such a narrow perspective. I’m surprised that you can maintain such a primitive point of view in southern California. You’d be more at home in Alabama or Mississippi. I invite you to look up the word empathy, and try it on for size. Good luck with that –

  9. Greg says:

    Oh Betty, it’s a shame that you don’t have any friends of color to ask their feelings on the matter. It must take a lot of effort to keep such a narrow perspective. I’m surprised that you can maintain such a primitive point of view in southern California. You’d be more at home in Alabama or Mississippi. I invite you to look up the word empathy, and try it out for a change. Good luck with that –

  10. Candace Browne says:

    Please Ms. Arenson stick to plastic surgery and not divisive rhetoric.

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