Vern Hee: We need to stand up for the little things

I am sure by now, as former Nevada Wolf Pack star Colin Kaepernick, once adored throughout Nevada, now finds himself up a creek without a paddle and no water, that he is saying to himself, “What is the big deal, all I did was refuse to stand for a song?”

The former 49ers starting quarterback finds himself unloved and unwanted and unemployed with less than 100 days until the season starts. And I say, that’s OK with me.

Of course, if you were under a rock last year and don’t recall what I am talking about, here is what Kaepernick did.

Last year he refused to stand for the national anthem all season because he was protesting police brutality and now he is being ostracized by the league. Apparently, no team wants to deal with fan backlash.

Why bring this up now? We all went through this during the 2016 season and are all probably tired of hearing about Kaepernick. Well, I bring it up because there are people who want Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, to give Kaepernick a break. There are some that think Goodell should call in a favor and get him a job.

Well, this is a big mistake, even though I know he is qualified for the job. I myself am a big 49ers fan, and I know the team and have been following Kaepernick since he took over as QB. Yes, he is qualified to be a QB for another team.

Many NFL experts still believe Kaepernick to be better than most of the backups and even deserving of a starting role somewhere on one of the 32 teams.

People are saying that there must be a city as liberal as San Francisco that would take him.

Trevor Hultner wrote on an antiwar blog (Colin Kaepernick’s Bold Stand, Sept. 2, 2016) that Kaepernick truly believes in social justice and does stand with some greats (hmm, that’s laughable.)

“He currently stands among sporting greats like baseball legend Jackie Robinson, who refused to stand and sing the anthem at the 1947 World Series; Muhammad Ali, who refused to fight in Vietnam; and John Carlos and Tommie Smith, track athletes who performed the Black Panther salute at the 1968 Olympics instead of holding their hands over their hearts.”

He may have done something similar to those great men, (And I know, some of those men were not so great and for argument’s sake I will let that slide.) but Kaepernick is not great. He is just an average starting QB. He is definitely nowhere near a Joe Montana or even a Steve Young. I will even contend he isn’t even as good as Alex Smith, the QB he replaced.

And so he may stand with the greats, but he is not one of the greats and that is where the problem lies. All of those athletes that went before him were legends in their sports and people eventually looked past their so-called transgressions.

Here lies Kaepernick’s problem: he stood up for something before he reached greatness, and now he is not being forgiven.

Is this right? It may not be, but it is the truth of the situation.

Look, Kaepernick made his bed and now he has to lie in it. Society needs to keep standing up for the values that the Kaepernicks of the world keep trying to tear down. It may be a little thing to stand during the national anthem, but if we don’t protect these traditions, then I think it leads to the erosion of our standards.

What Kaepernick did was an embarrassment to the team and to the country. If we don’t stand up for what we believe in, then there won’t be anyone left to take a stand.

Contact sports editor Vern Hee at