In recent weeks, just about everyone has stepped forward with an opinion on Colin Kaepernick and his decision to kneel during the national anthem. For some, the quarterback’s actions are a powerful display of civil disobedience, protesting this country’s sordid racial legacy and the countless African-American men and women who have been killed by the police over the years. To others, like former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, if Kaepernick doesn't like the way things are in this country, he can “get the hell out.”
Well, a restaurant in Virginia Beach called Krossroads Rock and Country Bar has offered yet another unsolicited hot take on the Kaepernick story, this time taping the quarterback’s jersey to its floor and using it has a doormat. A customer named James Perry saw the display on Thursday, and posted a photo of the scene to Facebook over the week. In just a few short days the photo—and Perry’s accompanying note on Kaepernick’s constitutional right to protest—has been shared over 5,000 times.
“What went through my mind was like 'Wow, is this real or is it a joke?'” Perry told WTKR. “How would you feel if someone taped a police officer’s uniform down?"
Still, despite Perry’s calls to “boycott this racist ass bar,” not all Virginia Beach residents see the incident as offensive, defending Krossroads’ right to “do what they want,” as one customer put it. The restaurant’s owners are also standing by their decision to tape Kaepernick’s jersey to the floor, claiming it's about his “disrespect of the flag—not race,” according to WTKR.
Race is, of course, at the center of Kaepernick decision’s to kneel during the anthem, and has pushed other professional athletes to speak out on issues of racism and police violence in America in recent days.
“I don’t want to kneel forever,” the quarterback has said. “I want these things to change. I do know it will be a process, and it is not something that will change overnight. But I think there are some major changes that we can make that are very reasonable.”
To begin with, it might be reasonable to pick the man’s jersey up off the floor.