I’m a fan of the Green Bay Packers and generally have not favored the San Francisco 49ers, but a short while ago the 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to keep his seat when the United States national anthem was played at NFL games.

Well, well, well.

His coach defended his right to choose to sit.  Good on Kaepernick and his coach.  Then, Patrick O’Neill, a friend and serious active man of faith, had a supporting Op-Ed in the News & Observer titled “Why I stand – or rather choose to sit – with Colin Kaepernick.”

Patrick, a long time writer for the Chapel Hill News, brought this issue right to my driveway and all of us sports fans as we prepared for the fall season of sports.

I’m adding another highlight from Patrick’s Op-Ed:

“We may be a nation founded on diversity, but take a stand against the national rituals of pledging allegiance to the flag and standing for the national anthem, and you will face the wrath of a nation of zealots.”

After 9/11, the ACC immediately put USA patches on their uniforms.  But, UNC delayed until a swift uproar arose and there have been many other reactions by athletes expressing their faith.

Patrick concludes his article, “As much as the masses would like everyone in this ‘free’ nation to follow the mob in unanimity of thought, I say, ‘No, thanks.'”

I challenge us to remember that these are sports games and not forget that we are called to live our faith and what life is really about.  At the same time, go Tar Heels.

— Wes Hare


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