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The Kaepernick Effect on Kids

The Kaepernick Effect on Kids
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Michael P. Ramirez latest cartoon encapsulates the feelings of many. As Kaepernick remains defiantly sitting during the National Anthem, he is surrounded by those who fought for his right to sit. And yet next to him appears a little girl turning her back.

Whatever your thoughts are about Colin Kaepernick, he has people talking. From ESPN's commentators calling him courageous to fans saying they refuse to further attend games and finance his wealthy lifestyle. People are angry, some feeling he has added gasoline to the growing bonfire that is America's racial divide.

For those who dismiss Kaepernick as simply another spoiled athlete who doesn't realize his hypocrisy, they may be underestimating the impact players like him have on our youth.

To quote Dr. Cyril Wecht (played by Albert Brooks in the film Concussion): "The NFL is a corporation that has 20 million people on a weekly basis craving their product, the same way they crave food. The NFL owns a day of the week. The same day the Church used to own! Now it's theirs. They're very big."

As a Father of two athletic sons, I wanted to get the opinion of my 16 year old who is working toward a career in Sports Journalism. (He already has his own weekly sports report on terrestrial radio).

"I agree with the cause, but not the action. There is definitely a difference between how black's and white's are treated by law enforcement, but there's a hundred different ways for Kaepernick to bring attention to this cause. So for 9-10 year olds who play football in San Francisco, this effects how they think because they idolize their quarterback. It may make them more likely to speak their mind. He (Kaepernick) has done this without throwing punches. It would likely lead to kids speaking out. If kids start acting out and they have a weak coach, you may have entire groups of kids sitting out National Anthems. This may impact sports for a long time."

This begs the question: how will adults in coaching positions deal with kids when they join together in open defiance. Without discipline and structure, what happens to sports?